New man in the hot seat

New man in the hot seat

After the unexpected announcement that Harvey Norman general manager, computers and communications, Tony Gattari is resigning from the top job, a new name has emerged.

John Slack-Smith, former proprietor of Harvey Norman's Balgowlah superstore, has been summoned to take control of the retailing chain as of August 1.

Slack-Smith comes highly recommended by Gattari who claims he was "the natural choice" for the position.

The speedy appointment has sparked rumours of a spat between Harvey Norman executive chairman Gerry Harvey and Gattari.

"This isn't the case," said Gattari. "He's absolutely the most fantastic boss I've ever had. I wouldn't have stuck around for nine years if I didn't love my job, but the fire in the belly just isn't there anymore.

"Because it's such an important position we had a responsibility to our 300-plus suppliers to let them know there is someone running the ship. We have to eliminate any sense of doubt," he added.

With his future still undecided, Gattari is discussing options to run a franchise but is not making any decisions until he finishes in his current role at the end of July.

Slack-Smith is in his eighth year at Harvey Norman. Since then the 30-year-old has worked his way up through the ranks with the Chatswood and Balgowlah superstore caps to his credit.

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