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Woolies Chief To Step Down

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Woolworths Board has just announced its head honcho Michael Luscombe will step down in September.

Its Chief Operating Officer of  Food and Petrol, Grant O’Brien, will be his successor and from today, will be Deputy CEO and will work closely with Luscombe until his formal commencement date on 1st October.

Incidentally, the date will mark five years since Luscombe’s appointment as CEO, whom during his tenure achieved strong business diversification in the supermarket giant, a tripling in group earnings and sales scaling the $50 billion mark.

He was also credited with achieving 68 percent increase in shareholder returns. “The Board is deeply appreciative of the outstanding leadership Michael has provided Woolworths Limited, particular as CEO.  His 33 years of service with the company have been nothing short of exemplary.”

The new CEO in waiting, O Brien, 49, has broad experience working across the business and has proven “instrumental to Woolworths’ performance and future direction” including its liquor strategy and new DIY business in his 24 years with the giant, it said today.

 “We congratulate Grant on his appointment.  His depth and diversity of experience and strong strategic acumen has given him solid grounding to lead Woolworths into its next phase of growth,” said Chairman James Strong.

O Brien will be joining Strong on the board as an Exec Director.

He is the 12th CEO to be appointed from within the ranks of the company, Strong added.   

 “I am immensely honoured to receive this opportunity and would like to thank the Woolworths Board for having confidence in my ability to continue Michael’s legacy,” O’Brien said today.

The Woolworth’s group also own electronics retailer Dick Smith and Big W stores.