Paul Zahra is a board and company advisor and one of Australia’s most influential diversity advocates. A leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 30 years, Paul’s corporate roles have included Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Australia’s premium department store, David Jones Limited as well as senior leadership roles at Target Australia and Officeworks Superstores.
Paul advises Boards and Companies in areas including retail (both traditional and startups), leadership, transformational change and diversity.
In 2016, Paul was appointed Global Retail Advisor with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) where he is focused on helping Australian brands achieve omni-channel transformation and global expansion as well as assisting international retail brands entering the Australian marketplace. Paul is also Chair of PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board, providing advice on the firm’s diversity and inclusion strategy.
Paul is credited for leading the digital transformation of one of the oldest department stores in the world achieving market-leading momentum, resulting in financial stability for the business during the worst retail conditions in 25 years and leading to its successful sale at a premium in 2014.
Under Paul’s stewardship, David Jones was transformed from a traditional bricks and mortar retailer to a contemporary omni-channel retailer, resulting in the Company’s average online order rising to three times the value of the average in-store transaction.
Paul has a strong focus on fashion and is a significant supporter of Australian Fashion Designers, believing that local talent is an imperative part of the economic and intellectual growth of the country.
A powerful champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Paul has led numerous high profile LGBTI campaigns and initiatives. In February 2016, he was appointed Chair of The Pinnacle Foundation which provides scholarships and mentoring to disadvantaged LGBTI youth.
In 2017, Paul became an advisor and investor in the disruptive Australian beverage brand Nexba, a next generation soft-drink that is naturallly sugar-free.
Paul is an alumni of Stanford University, USA.