Guy Russo, CEO of Kmart is the brains behind one of the fastest corporate turnarounds in recent history. ?When Guy arrived, Wesfarmers had taken a serious look at selling the business. They couldn’t keep losing money and expect to survive. Now they stand on the verge of expansion having doubled earnings year on year.
Guy Russo might be a newcomer to the retail game, but like all good retail men he’s happiest when prowling the floor of one of his stores. Russo started his working life flipping burgers at McDonald’s in Sydney’s Kingsford in 1974. Russo became managing director and CEO of McDonald’s Australia and later president in greater China.
Russo retired in 2007, but remained in China. He and his wife, Deanne Bevan, had fallen in love with the country and, in particular, with its children. Russo is founding director and chairman of the Half the Sky Foundation, which runs orphanages in 44 Chinese cities, providing long-term care and education. The name comes from Mao Zedong, who said ”women hold up half the sky”, as part of his promise of gender equality.
Russo shares with his audience how the Kmart turnaround was achieved. He involved the staff in reviewing the culture and the majority of the staff have embraced the changes because they were included?in the process.?