Struggling Big W Boss Quits Following Complaint
Woolworths the owners of the Big W stores said that the head of retail services Penny Winn will act as Big W managing director until a permanent appointment is made.
Currently Bi W has been gaining traction in the consumer electronics market with several vendors telling ChanelNews that the mass retailer who is in a head on battle with Aldi and Target as well as K Mart has been highly succesful at selling products that have struggled at Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi.
Powermove said recently that they sold more Philips tall boy speaker’s in a month at Bi W than what they had sold in a year at JB Hi Fi.
McGeorge, 55, who took the helm at Big W last June, is understood to have stepped down on Thursday.
Woolworths said he resigned for health reasons, but in the interests of transparency added that there was a complaint from an unnamed employee about Mr McGeorge’s behaviour in the workplace.
MMr McGeorge, was the former chairman and chief executive of British retailer New Look was hand-picked by Woolworths’ non-executive director, Christine Cross, a former Tesco executive.
He replaced long-serving Woolworths executive Julie Coates, who had been running Big W for five years.
Mr McGeorge had been consulting to Big W for several months before he was appointed CEO. Previous roles included British fashion and homewares retailers Matalan and Littlewoods.
His unexpected departure leaves Big W rudderless at a time when arch rival Kmart has delivered record sales and profit growth and Target achieved its first profit growth in four years.
Big W’s earnings have fallen from $200 million in 2010 to an estimated $130 million in 2015, but Mr George had forecast a return to profit growth in 2016.
He is the latest of almost a dozen senior Woolworths executives who have resigned or been sacked in recent months amid escalating competition in food and liquor and department stores.
Woolworths chief executive Grant O’Brien resigned in June, less than a month after unveiling a three-year growth strategy that involved cutting 1200 jobs and reinvesting $500 million of cost savings into reducing grocery prices and improving service in supermarkets.