We want to be the place for talent to thrive and to do that, we must continuously broaden our team’s horizons by offering them new career experiences that both challenge and engage.
With that in mind, we’re pleased to share the news that we appointed Alison Pearson as our new Head of Talent and Chris Zerial as Centre Manager for Westfield Sydney.
Alison, you’ve moved from a customer-facing role leading a Region in NSW including Westfield Sydney to Head of Talent, what made you take the leap?
It is a big change, and we’re lucky that as a vertically integrated business, these varied career opportunities are plentiful at Scentre Group. Having said that, the customer is at the heart of everything we do and my connection to our purpose ‘creating extraordinary places, connecting and enriching communities’ will remain paramount. Essentially, I’m pivoting my focus from a direct execution of customer experience to the retention and attraction of key talent, which is essential for us to deliver that daily customer experience.
I’m passionate about supporting people to be the best they can be and my new role allows me to broaden my skills in this area, adding value to our culture and capability agenda on a company level, across Australia and New Zealand. I’m excited to talk to our people about embracing new career experiences or candidates about the opportunities Scentre Group offers, because having grown my own career within Scentre Group across two states, I have that personal experience to share.
Chris, you’ve been with Scentre Group six years and have achieved a lot in that time. What has been most important to your development?
From my first Retail Manger role at Westfield Hornsby to today, I’ve always found people genuinely want to see you succeed and will help you learn, and that has been a significant part of how my career journey has evolved.
During my last Retail Manager role at Westfield Bondi Junction I got involved with our Diversity & Inclusion agenda and it helped me become a lot more comfortable with who I was and enabled me to focus on just getting the job done, rather than worrying about who I was at work. Having that level of support, both personal and professional, is a great benefit of our workplace culture and a big part of being the place for talent to thrive.
I wasn’t expecting Westfield Sydney to be an opportunity for me so soon, but if you’re focused on the right goals then I believe opportunities come to you, and I’m glad that I’ve been given this exciting opportunity.
What are you most excited about?
I’m looking forward to being involved with the proposed development at David Jones Men’s Store next year. We’re seeing a strong growth in luxury retail at Westfield Sydney and the development is going to anchor our centre as the City’s home of luxury, as well as being an iconic development within Sydney, so it’s a really exciting time to join the team and play a role bringing the development to life for customers.
In the meantime, there’s a lot of different aspects to Westfield Sydney and my role as Centre Manager. I’m looking forward to being really curious and learning from the team about their challenges, our 44 million annual customers, the unique cultural diversity that it attracts and what we need to deliver to ensure we keep such an iconic global living centre the special place that our customers know it to be.