Wesfarmers, the owner of Coles supermarkets in Australia, has announced the resignation of chairman Trevor Eastwood.

Eastwood, who has been chairman of Wesfarmers since 2002, said it was an "appropriate time for him to retire" after six years in the role, as the company proceeds through a significant new era of opportunity and change.

"I have been extremely fortunate to have been chairman during a time of tremendous growth and transition for the company," Eastwood said.

Bob Every has been appointed deputy chairman to ensure a smooth transition the position later in the year.

Every joined the Wesfarmers board in February 2006 and will take up the position of chairman after the Australian conglomerate's AGM on 13 November.

Formerly chief executive and managing director of OneSteel, Every also held the positions of president of BHP Steel, managing director of Tubemakers of Australia and chairman of Steel & Tube Holdings in New Zealand.

Every is currently chairman of Iluka Resources and holds a position on the board of construction group Boral.