The new Woolworths CEO is Brad Banducci, an insider who is currently managing director of Woolworths Food Group.
The supermarket group is struggling with flat profit growth and growing competition from new discount players including Aldi.
“I am a true believer in the potential of Woolworths and I am excited about our future,” Banducci said.
“We are at our best when we are innovative and focussed on the customer and winning their trust.
“I am an entrepreneur at heart, and a retailer by discipline, and I want us to take our company back to its best levels of performance.
“My goal as CEO will be to recapture the spirit of innovation and customer focus right across the business, and to grow a culture where our people once again feel a strong ownership of the business.”
Chairman Gordon Cairns said: “When I became Chairman of Woolworths, I said that one of the Board’s top priorities was settling the leadership of the company.”
There were several strong candidates for the role but the board of directors was unanimous that Banducci was the strongest.
“He clearly understands the Australian market, has a total commitment to our customers, and a great track record of growing valuable businesses and developing his people,” Cairns said.
Banducci was appointed managing director, Woolworths Food Group, in February last year. Before this he was Managing Director of Woolworths Liquor Group and Director of Liquor.
He joined Woolworths in 2011 after the acquisition of the Cellarmasters Group, a wine direct retail and production company. He was Chief Executive Officer of Cellarmasters from 2007.
Before that he was the Chief Financial Officer and a Director and later a Non-Executive Director at Tyro Payments.
He was a Director with The Boston Consulting Group and a core member of its retail practice for 15 years. He worked on a number of acquisition and improvement programs with many of the world’s leading retailers.