Woolworths has lost almost a dozen senior execs in a year

It’s another rocky day for Woolworths with Big W managing director Alastair McGeorge resigning for health reasons after the company received a staff complaint about his behaviour.

The company has several management departures in the past month with almost a dozen execs resigning or being sacked as competition in the grocery and retail space heats up.

McGeorge became MD last June. The company said the resignation was effective immediately, and elaborated on the complaint.

“The behaviour was verbal in nature. This complaint has been investigated and finalised and for legal reasons we are unable to make any further comment on this matter,” Woolworths said in a statement.

Head of retail services Penny Winn will take over as acting managing director until a permanent appointment is made.

Big W’s two largest competitors, Kmart and Target, both achieved strong profit growth last financial year. Big W’s earnings have fallen to an estimated $130 million in 2015, down from $200 million five years ago.

On Thursday Wesfarmers released results showing Coles was growing faster than Woolworths.

Woolworths CEO Grant O’Brien resigned in June, supermarkets director Tjeerd Jegen stepped down in January. While former finance director Martyn Roberts resigned, taking a job at Coke and CMO Tony Phillips stepped down after an ANZAC Day marketing disaster. Woolworths also lost its head of operations for fuel and convenience Mark Hewlett to Metcash, which owns the struggling IGA Supermarkets chain.

The AFR reports Woolworths has also recently lost its director of customer experience, Jess Gill, and chief loyalty and data officer Emma Gray.

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