Michael Hill International chief executive Mike Parsell is to step down after 16 years leading the jewellery company that bears its founder's name.

Parsell joined the company when it operated just three stores and has stayed with the retailer while it has grown to 300 outlets in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US, as well as rolling out its Emma & Roe brand.

Emma Hill, the chair of Michael Hill, said chief financial officer Phil Taylor, another company veteran, having joined in 1987, will be acting CEO until a permanent replacement is found. Taylor has been CFO since 2003.

Parsell said it was "a good time for a change in leadership as the business is performing well and has a stable and experienced leadership team".


In June the company outlined a succession plan for the interests of the founding family, with 10 per cent of the company to be transferred to trusts for daughter Emma Hill and son Mark.

Last month the retailer gave guidance for sales and earnings for the year ended June 30, with 8.9 percent revenue growth and earnings before interest and tax in the range of $46 million to $48 million.

Michael Hill shares, which now have their primary listing on the ASX, were unchanged at $1.51 on the NZX, having soared 53 percent this year.