ARA CEO Paul Zahra
Paul Zahra is CEO of the ARA, stepping into the role in April 2020 to lead the ARA’s national team.
A leading force in the Australian Retail Industry for over 35 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 has also advised Boards and Companies in areas including retail (both traditional and startups), leadership, transformational change and diversity.
Paul is credited with 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.
A powerful champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Paul has led numerous high profile LGBTI campaigns and initiatives. In February 2016, Paul was appointed Chair of The Pinnacle Foundation, a not for profit which provides scholarships and mentoring to disadvantaged LGBTI youth in Australia. Paul has recently been appointed CEO of the Australian Retailers Association.
Paul is an alumni of Stanford University, USA.