David Jones confirms Zahra to stay

David Jones chief executive officer Paul Zahra will continue in his current role, the retailer says, after he earlier announced plans to quit.

In a statement, the department store said it has discontinued its external search for a successor.

David Jones said Mr Zahra has the "full and unwavering support" of the board and shareholders.

Mr Zahra announced in October he would resign on the commencement of a successor, then said last month he had only signalled an "intention to resign".

Yesterday the retailer appointed Gordon Cairns as chairman, replacing Peter Mason, who had earlier announced plans to resign.

Mr Cairns said Mr Zahra was an "outstanding" CEO who had overseen the company's transformation into an omni-channel retailer.

"Paul has conducted himself in a truly professional and gracious manner over the past six months through out what has been an unsettling time for the company and the board," Mr Cairns said.

"He has taken a 'business as usual' approach, remaining one hundred per cent dedicated and focused on his role, which is evidenced by the strong second-quarter 2014 sales results reported by the company in February."

Mr Cairns said he and the board were pleased to be able to provide clarity around the retailer's management.

"We are firmly of the belief that Paul confirming his commitment to remaining as CEO and managing director of David Jones is in the best interests of the company."

Mr Zahra said he had been at David Jones for more than 15 years and had always felt "a real sense of commitment and loyalty to the business".

"My commitment and loyalty has intensified in recent months given the changes and uncertainty that the business has experienced," Mr Zahra said.