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Daughter of Michael Hill International founder appointed chairwoman

Emma Hill and her father, Michael Hill, founder of Michael Hill International

New Zealand’s most successful jewellery chain will fall into the hands of the second generation in November, following a vote at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

Michael Hill International launched in 1979, with one shop opened in Whangarei, a small city of just 54,000 people, but today has 300 stores across Australia, New Zealand and North America.

The jewellery business, which is now headquartered in Australia, last year had revenues of AU$505.6 million.

This month it was announced that Emma Hill would succeed her father, company founder Michael Hill, as chair of the business, having so far served as his deputy.

Hill has worked in the business for 30 years, starting as a teenager working the shop floor in Whangarei. More recently, Hill established Michael Hill Canada, joining the board of directors in 2007. She became deputy chair in 2011.

Speaking on her appointment, Hill said she had always admired her father and what he had built up.

Michael Hill, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director, said in a statement that he was proud to have a daughter that was so passionate about the family business. “Emma has learnt jewellery retailing from the ground up, has worked across the breadth of the business, and across our international marketplaces.”

Her appointment is effective from 3 November.

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