Woolworths management shake-up

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 1st August 2011

Grant O’Brien, the CEO-designate of major Australian supermarket group Woolworths Ltd, has announced a series of senior management changes.Greg Foran, director of its Australian and New Zealand food, liquor and petrol division, has resigned from his position and will be leaving the retailer within the next few months “to pursue new career opportunities”.

The company said that, with Foran’s assistance, the company has found a successor whose name will be announced in due course.

Foran held a number of senior roles at Woolworths for ten years, including general manager of Dick Smith, general manager of Big W and most recently as head of the company’s supermarket division.

“Greg is a talented retailer who has overseen many significant changes in the group, including the transformation of BIG W into Australia’s leading discount department store,” O’Brien said. “Over the past two years, Greg has managed our largest division through a period of significant change and helped deliver value and an improved offer to our customers and positioned us well for future growth.”

Steve Greentree, general manager of Woolworths’ liquor group, will be appointed to the company’s management board and will report directly to O’Brien. David Chambers, who leads the New Zealand supermarkets business as managing director of Progressive Enterprises, will also report to O’Brien.

Luke Dunkerley has been appointed as general manager of the retailer’s consumer and corporate marketing. He will work closely with all of the trading divisions, particularly with the new home improvement business Masters. He will report to O’Brien.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Ryley has been appointed as general manager of marketing for Woolworths’ supermarkets. She was previously marketing and communications manager for Progressive Enterprises in New Zealand.

“I am very excited about the talent I am drawing on both internally and externally as we plan for our future. This new team will have a very strong focus on our customers and will enable us to position our business for growth,” O’Brien added.

The announcements follow the news last week that Coles sales out-grew Woolworths in the 2011 financial year. Coles reported a 6.7 per cent rise in sales, compared to Woolworths’ 4.3 per cent.

This article is sourced, with editorial adaptations, from just-food – the world’s leading portal for the global pre-packaged food and retail industries. Its daily mix of breaking news, views, analysis and research serves over 100,000 food executives each month. http://www.just-food.com