Rod McDermott became part of Farmers Trading Company in 2004 after Anne and David Norman, owners of jewellery chain James Pascoe, formed a JV with Fisher & Paykel to buy Farmers Trading Company.
Back under New Zealand ownership, the business was split in two, with Fisher & Paykel taking the profitable finance portion and Pascoes the retail arm, which wasn’t.
David Norman assumed the role of Farmers Trading Co's Chief Executive, appointing Rod McDermott as Chief Operating Officer and Michael Power as Chief Financial Officer.
Under the new leadership, Farmers retail came back into profit and a major turnaround was achieved.
In 2006, Rod McDermott became Farmer's CEO, only leaving in October last year, having “decided to seek new and different challenges".
He spent 10 years at the top and 25 years overall, during which time Farmers was renewed and modernised.
Rod McDermott left the company last year, in his words, "improved and repositioned as a world standard fashion department store for all New Zealanders”.
He will be missed.
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Cliff Carr (General Manager - Sales & Marketing, Sunbeam NZ Corporation):
"Rod was a driven and passionate retailer, he was always looking to deliver value to Farmers’ shareholders, team members, suppliers and customers. Never satisfied with the status quo, he knew Farmers had to constantly evolve to stay relevant. Our thoughts are with his family and all of the Farmers team."