Supermarket giant Woolworths has announced that chief executive Grant O’Brien will leave after less than four years at the helm.
O’Brien said the company’s recent performance had been disappointing and a change of leadership would hopefully shake things up. Woolworths said in a statement that there has been “no improvement in May and June to date” with sales in the fourth quarter to date running 0.7 per cent below the previous year.
“At the recent investor day we set out clear strategies to grow our business over the next three years and we have been working hard to execute these plans,” O’Brien said in a statement to the ASX.
“However, the recent performance has been disappointing and below expectations. I believe it is in the best interests of the company for new leadership to see these plans to fruition.
“Australian Food is on a three year journey to get customers to put us first consistently and our sales results will be volatile in the short term. It will take time for the improvements we have made to convert into sales momentum,” O’Brien said.
No replacement has been named. O’Brien will remain in the position while the board undertakes a global executive search.
In other Woolies news, the company has confirmed it will slash 1,200 jobs although the exact details of the job losses and where they will come from has not been revealed. However, there will be up to $50 million in redundancy costs.