Woolworths announces leadership changes

Posted by James Ferre on 21st October 2008

Woolworths has announced a major change in their leadership team with Naum Onikul, the current Director of Supermarkets, set to retire after 21 years with the supermarket giant. Mr Onikul is to be replaced by the current General Manager of Big W, Greg Foran, who will take on the role of Director of Food, Liquor and Petrol.

Mr Foran, who will be in charge of the company’s 780 supermarket outlets, as well as the 1022 liquor stores and over 500 petrol stations, has been in retail for almost thirty years after first starting at Woolworths as an 18-year-old in New Zealand. He has worked in a number of positions at Woolworths including GM of Private Label and has been credited for turning around the Big W business.

The promotion of Mr Foran served to highlight the strength of Woolworths’ internal management training, according to Woolworths CEO Michael Luscombe. “This will be a seamless and positive leadership transition for Woolworths, highlighting the strength and depth of the business’s succession planning and internal retail talent,” he suggested.

Julie Coates, current Chief of Logistics, will fill the vacancy as head of Big W, with Geoff Thomas to assume Ms Coates’ former role.

Woolworths is set to release its first-quarter sales today.