Supermarket giant Woolworths CEO resigns amidst massive $781 million loss

The company said Amanda Bardwell, head of loyalty and e-commerce, will replace him as chief executive in September.

Woolworths Managing Director and Group CEO Brad Banducci has announced his retirement as the supermarket giant declared a massive loss.

Mr Banducci said in a sattement:

“It has been a privilege to be a member of the Woolies team and one I have never taken for granted.”

Image: Woolworths Group chair Scott Perkins (Source: Woolworths)

Woolworths Group chair Scott Perkins said in a statement to the Australian share market.

“I would like to thank Brad for his outstanding leadership and contribution. Brad has led a remarkable turnaround and transformation of the Group.”

- Advertisement -

Following an extensive international search process supported by external consultants, Woolworths has also announced the appointment of the incoming and 13th Managing Director and Group CEO of Woolworths Group.

The supermarket giant said in a statement that it is promoting Amanda Bardwell to the top job, after an “extensive international search process”.

Image: Amanda Bardwell (Source: X)

Ms Bardwell has worked for the Woolworths for 23 years and is currently heading up its online grocery, e-commerce and loyalty sub-division, WooliesX.

Mr Perkins said the incoming CEo is a “proven leader.”

“Amanda is highly respected throughout the organisation and I know, like Brad, will live our purpose and work hard to achieve Woolworths Group’s full potential.” 

In her new role Ms Bardwell will get $2.15million a year, slightly less than the base salary of Mr Banducci who was on $2.6million. She will also receive generous bonus incentives, with the former CEO pocketing $8.65million in total remuneration last year.

Image: Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci walking out of ABC’s Four Corners interview (Source: ABC screenshot)

Earlier, ABC’s Four Corners aired footage of the departing CEO Brad Banducci walking out of an interview in which he criticised former competition commission chairman Rod Sims before asking for his comments to be struck from the record. When Mr Banducci’s request was refused, he attempted to end the interview.

- Advertisement -
Image: Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs 9Source: The IPA)

Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), said in a statement that Mr Banducci’s decision to ban Australia Day in Woolworths stores in January 2024 was woke.

“The resignation of Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci is a warning to woke corporates and the elite director class to stop disrespecting mainstream values and running down Australia.”

Woolworths overall results show a massive loss of $781 million, after the company booked a $NZ1.6 billion ($1.5 billion) writedown in the value of its New Zealand grocery business and a $209 million reduction in the value of a stake in ASX-listed alcohol and hotels spin-off Endeavour.

But excluding those one-offs, Woolworths announced a 2.5 per cent rise in half-year profit to $929 million. That was based on a 4.4 per cent increase in revenue compared to the same period a year earlier.

Further, Woolworths results show its Australian food sales increased 5.4 per cent in the first half, and that pre-tax profits in that same division jumped 9.9 per cent.

While, WooliesX, headed by incoming chief executive Ms Bardwell, first-half total sales jumped 27.5 per cent. The division’s pre-tax profits increased 132.3 per cent to $168 million, with its profit margin climbing 1.86 percentage points to 4.1 per cent.

Mr Banducci will retire in September 2024, after almost nine years in the top job.

Woolworths and Coles are facing a Greens-led Senate inquiry with allegations of price gouging and unfair practices with suppliers. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has suggested that supermarkets conduct could be “an abuse of market power.”

Support Our Journalism

Global Indian Diaspora needs fair, non-hyphenated, and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. The Australia Today – with exceptional reporters, columnists, and editors – is doing just that. Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, or India you can take a paid subscription by clicking Patreon. Buy an annual ‘The Australia Today Membership’ to support independent journalism and get special benefits.