WHO WE ARE

Our vision is to be one of the most loved brands in the world and our values define who we are.

As Australia’s largest global retailer, we want to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone we touch; whether that’s in our backyard or on the other side of the world. It’s as simple as that.

OUR HISTORY

To ‘cotton on’ to something means to understand or discover the potential of a great idea.

This, paired with an entrepreneurial spirit like no other, led Cotton On Group founder Nigel Austin to the Beckley Market in Geelong armed with a pile of acid wash denim jackets (it was the late 80s after all). Customers loved the jackets, but Nigel left without making a sale. The next week he had an epiphany; he returned to the market, lowered the price, and the jackets sold out instantly. It was the start of something big.

OUR LEADERS

PETER JOHNSON

Chief Executive Officer
Peter Johnson was appointed as General Manager in 2004 and CEO of the Cotton On Group in 2008.

Chief Executive Officer
Peter Johnson was appointed as General Manager in 2004 and CEO of the Cotton On Group in 2008.

Peter began his career in the banking and IT sector before making the move to retail.  Having spent over nine years working for leading retailers including Sportsgirl, Jeans West and Country Road, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and retail acumen to the Group.

As CEO, Peter has been integral in the growth of the Cotton On Group, seeing the store footprint grow from 50 Australian Cotton On stores in 2004, to now over 1,500 stores globally and a suite of seven brands, operating in 19 countries, supported by a global workforce of more than 20,000 people.

Peter’s vision is to ensure the Cotton On Group continues to grow as a retail market leader, while staying true to its Australian heritage and the entrepreneurial spirit that has seen the company enjoy exponential expansion in recent years.  Peter sees this growth as enabling personal and professional development opportunities for the global workforce and the ability to continue to make positive contributions in the communities in which the Group operates.

Peter is wholly committed to success of the Group’s philanthropic arm, the Cotton On Foundation which focuses on the development and support of projects within the communities we touch. The Cotton On Foundation is on a mission to create 20,000 quality educational places globally by 2020.

When he’s not in the office, Pete enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf and is a mad Richmond supporter. 

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MICHAEL HARDWICK

Chief Financial Officer
Michael joined the Cotton On Group in 2009 having spent the previous eight years as a Partner in the New York based private equity firm of Hudson Valley Capital Partners. 

Chief Financial Officer
Michael joined the Cotton On Group in 2009 having spent the previous eight years as a Partner in the New York based private equity firm of Hudson Valley Capital Partners.  Prior to this, he spent 10 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers in both Melbourne and New York in the transaction advisory practice.

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Michael’s acute financial acumen has helped drive the Cotton On Group to become the success it is today.  He has played an active role in steering business growth while helping shape the vision and strategy for the Group’s future.

Michael is a strong advocate for the Cotton On Group’s People + Culture program and seeks to integrate even further the values that make our business so unique.

Mick loves spending time with his family, travelling and football. GO CATS!

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JULIE CHRISTY

Group Executive, Product and Business Innovation
Julie commenced in womenswear at the Cotton On Group in 2001 when the business had only one brand and 34 stores in Australia.

Group Executive, Product and Business Innovation

Julie commenced in womenswear at the Cotton On Group in 2001 when the business had only one brand and 34 stores in Australia. Since then, Julie has played a critical role in the expansion of the business, spearheading the launch of Cotton On BODY, Rubi and Typo.

With the customer always top of mind, Julie has an innate ability to forecast trends and continues to be pivotal in steering the direction of the Group. Julie believes that everyone should have the opportunity to access on trend fashion, regardless of disposable income.

With over 30 years of buying and production experience, Julie’s expertise in product, product differentiation, brand identity and production management is integral to her role. She uses her intimate knowledge of each brand’s DNA to support brand teams in delivering products that are not only true to the spirit of their brand and the Cotton On Group ethos, but also progressive and exciting for their customer.

As one of our long standing and respected leaders, Julie is passionate about fostering the cultural values of the business. Julie is an advocate for supporting people within the Group in their growth and development and nurturing people through their ideas.

Aside from spending time with family and friends, Julie also loves trawling through markets, shops, magazines and watching people, always looking for new inspirations and ideas.

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OUR GLOBAL FOOTPRINT

Cotton On Namibia

7 brands, 19 countries, 1,500+ stores. And counting.

As we’ve expanded our global presence, we’ve become a part of communities globally.
From our first store to our thousandth, we’re always on the lookout for the next adventure.