Supermarket giant Woolworths has appointed Brad Banducci as its new CEO and managing director, effective immediately.
Banducci was the current managing director for the Woolworths Food Group.
The news comes as the chain posted a loss of $925.8 million net profit after tax, a drop of 33.1 per cent in its half yearly results for the financial year.
Earnings before interest and tax was also down 31.6 per cent to $1.456 million.
“We are rebuilding the Woolworths business. While we have made progress, it will be a three to five year journey and there is much to do,” said Gordon Cairns, Woolies chairman.
“When I joined the Board as chairman in September last year I said the most pressing issue was to appoint a new CEO. We have today announced the appointment of Brad Banducci as CEO and managing director of Woolworths Limited.”
The former CEO Grant O’Brien had announced his decision to quit a number of months ago, with rumours at the time suggesting a number of jobs could be axed.
Banducci said of his promotion: “I am honoured to be appointed as the chief executive officer of Woolworths Limited to lead our 200,000-strong team into the next chapter.
“I am a true believer in the potential of Woolworths and I am excited about our future. 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.”
Woolworths has had a turbulent time during 2015, particularly after stuffing up its ANZAC Day marketing with what many called an “insensitive” campaign, as well as an unhappy customer finding a monstrous spider crawling around inside its lettuce.
The supermarket has also had to compete with the onslaught of German chain ALDI which appears to be shoving competitors aside.