Michael Hill International has appointed a new temporary chief, promoting chief financial officer Andrew Lowe to the top role.

The business told the NZX last week there was no need to replace chief executive Daniel Bracken who was unwell.

But today, it said the situation had changed.

"Further to updated medical advice, CEO Daniel Bracken will now require a period of a few weeks away from the business to aid his recovery from recent surgery. Accordingly, the company has decided to appoint the current chief financial officer, Andrew Lowe as acting CEO for this period," it said this morning.

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In December 2018, the Herald reported how Bracken aimed to lift the jewellery retailer's share price and modernise its brand.

He started in the role on November 15, 2018 and said in his first few weeks that everything has been as he expected, visiting what was the company's 3000 or so employees and making sure everything was ready for that Christmas.

The born and bred Londoner moved to Australia to become chief executive at The Apparel Group, based in Sydney. He was there for three-and-a-half years before he was shoulder-tapped to join department store Myer as chief merchandise and marketing officer and deputy CEO.

Before Michael Hill, Bracken was chief executive of ASX-listed retail company Specialty Fashion Group, which operates retailers City Chic and Millers, among others.