OUR PURPOSE

We exist to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

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 VALUES

We have a genuine belief in our brands, our big ideas, and our ability to bring them to life.

Our six values underpin who we are and the way we work. They form the basis of everything we do, guide us in our decision making and are the same values that our founder, Nigel has instilled since day one.

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 is a Director and the Chief Financial Officer of the Cotton On Group, Michael has a broad remit which includes Finance & Treasury, Risk & Sustainability, People & Culture, Group Marketing & Communications as well as the Cotton On Foundation & Community and the Family Office functions.

Chief Financial Officer

Michael is a Director and the Chief Financial Officer of the Cotton On Group, Michael has a broad remit which includes Finance & Treasury, Risk & Sustainability, People & Culture, Group Marketing & Communications as well as the Cotton On Foundation & Community and the Family Office functions. He has also previously overseen the development and expansion of all International Markets.

In addition to his role at the Cotton On Group, Michael is also a non-executive Director of City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) where he is also Chair of the audit and Risk Committee. Michael is also a non-executive Director of the Grill’d Group of Companies which includes Australia’s largest privately owned chain of Burger Restaurants and also Koko Black a premium branded Australian chocolatier. Michael is also a member of the Finance and Risk Committee of the Geelong Football Club.

Prior to joining the Cotton On Group, Michael spent 8 years as a Partner at the New York based private equity firm of Hudson Valley Capital Partners and prior to that commenced his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in both Melbourne and New York in the Transaction Advisory Practice.

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NATALIE MCLEAN

Chief Retail Officer
Natalie’s passion for people and clothing has driven a long, professional career in retail.
Natalie first joined the Cotton On Group in 1991 where she spent eight years with the business before taking up the roles of Product Manager Giordano International and Retail General Manager at Rip Curl, which saw her work across markets globally.

Chief Retail Officer

Natalie’s passion for people and clothing has driven a long, professional career in retail.

Natalie first joined the Cotton On Group in 1991 where she spent eight years with the business before taking up the roles of Product Manager Giordano International and Retail General Manager at Rip Curl, which saw her work across markets globally.

Natalie returned to the Cotton On Group in early 2013 taking up the position of General Manager for Cotton On KIDS, where she worked closely with her team to create ranges and products that were both exciting and inspiring and catered to our littlest customer.

In August-2017, Natalie was appointed as Chief Retail Officer (CRO) further cementing her commitment and longstanding career with the Cotton On Group.

Within this position, Natalie will lead the Group’s new Mega Retail Operations function which will drive a single minded customer proposition across our mega brands, while delivering exceptional retail experiences our customers will love.

When not escaping for a weekend to the beautiful seaside town of Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, Natalie is following her passion for horse racing with her position as a board member with the Geelong Racing Club.

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OUR STORE FOOTPRINT

7 brands, 18 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.