Michael Hill International has named the head of Specialty Fashion Group as its new chief executive.

The jeweller said Daniel Bracken is to replace current chief executive Phil Taylor who is stepping down for health reasons. He will remain with the firm in a consulting capacity for six months to help smooth the transition.

Bracken's appointment begins on November 15 and includes a six-month probationary period. There is no fixed term.

Michael Hill chair Emma Hill said Bracken has more than 25 years' experience in retail and fashion across many brands, products and geographies. At Sydney-based Specialty Fashion Group he most recently led the firm's restructuring and successful divestment of the Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers brands.


Brisbane-based Michael Hill makes and sells jewellery in New Zealand, Canada and Australia – its largest market. Earlier this year it shut its 10-year-old US chain amid declining sales and after failing to find a buyer. It also quit its three-year-old Emma & Roe business.

"Daniel's global experience and strong commitment to create engaged customer-centric brands is aligned with the board's commitment to see Michael Hill become a globally relevant leader in the premium jewellery category," Hill said.

She thanked Taylor for the "immense contribution" he had made to the firm during the past three decades and said his leadership during a period of "recalibration and repositioning" had been outstanding.

"Because of these changes, Michael Hill is a strong and resilient business today with a clear strategy and platform to deliver sustainable long-term growth."

Michael Hill shares closed yesterday at 95 cents on the NZX. They have fallen about 28 per cent this year.