Five things you didn’t know about the fired Myer executive


It’s the story that just keeps giving.

Further juicy details have emerged about the Myer executive fired over his misleading CV last week, with recent news reports suggesting other Australian retailers and business associations have fallen for Andrew Flanagan’s mysterious business skills.

And with the recruitment agency involved in hiring Flanagan for the plum job at Myer contacting the police, it’s fair to say this won’t be the last we hear of this high-profile case of reference checks gone wrong.

So what do we know about Andrew Flanagan? Here’s five of the most interesting titbits to emerge from Flanagan’s background.

1. He previously worked for Specialty Fashion Group for four weeks

In the latest update to this ongoing saga, Fairfax reports Flanagan was previously employed by ASX-listed Specialty Fashion Group, the parent company of Rivers. But he spent just four weeks with the company before the two parties parted ways.

Flanagan was reportedly hired as a consultant to help Specialty Fashion Group to close down the Rivers outlet in Hawthorn in Melbourne.

But Fairfax says the group learnt Flanagan had lied about his previous work experience, including claims he had worked for Spanish retail giant Zara—the same claims used to secure the position at Myer.

2. He was head honcho at the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce for two months

A host of other companies and organisations have confirmed they were duped by Flanagan, including the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce.

Fairfax reports Flanagan was hired as chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce in December 2013. The organisation boasted on its website Flanagan was hired due to his “extensive experience” in business and government in “both senior executive and board positions”.

But his time at the chamber was short-lived, with Flanagan resigning after just two months.

3. He was familiar with the executive recruitment process, having worked as a recruiter himself

Perhaps Flanagan picked up a few tricks of the trade during his albeit brief stint working for an executive recruitment company.

Fairfax reported last week Flanagan spent two months working for executive recruitment firm Carmichael Fisher, before being let go for, you guessed it, lying about his employment history.

Carmichael Fisher executive director Jamal Khan said Flanagan was a “convincing salesman” who was suspected of using his position with the firm to cosy up to senior executives.

“Very quickly once he joined, something wasn’t right,” said Khan. “All the stuff he said, it just didn’t stack up.”

“The reality was there was no substance. It was obvious that a number of the things he had said about his past were untrue and I let him go quickly.”

4. He served on the board of the Nunawading Swimming Club

It’s not just major retailers and business organisations which have fallen for Flanagan’s ruse, with reports Flanagan was recently a member of the Nunawading Swimming Club.

According to Fairfax, Flanagan approached the swimming club, one of Australia’s largest, in October 2013, volunteering his expertise to help the club prepare its next strategic plan.

But Flanagan is reported to have resigned from the board via email last Wednesday after the Myer fiasco came to light.

5. His name might not be Andrew Flanagan

Not only has Flanagan appeared to have duped multiple organisations, it appears he may have done so under multiple names.

According to various reports, Flanagan has at times been employed under the names Andrew Flanagan, Jeffrey Flanagan, Jeffery Flanagan and Jeffery Howden.

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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