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Two Shock Exits From David Jones Board

Former Westpac CEO Gail Kelly and Australian retail executive Patrick Allaway have both resigned as independent nonexecutive directors of Woolworths Holdings’ board, a week after the shock departure of David Jones CEO, David Thomas.

South African-listed Woolworths Holdings is the parent company of David Jones.

Kelly and Allaway were both re-elected last year, with Kelly gaining 91.72% and Allaway 91.79% shareholder support.

“Shareholders are hereby notified that Mrs Gail Kelly and Mr Patrick Allaway have resigned as independent non-executive directors of the Company with immediate effect,’’ Woolworths Holdings wrote in a statement to Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Kelly was appointed in 2015 to refocus the board into the Australian market following its purchase of David Jones for $2.2 billion.

On her appointment Kelly stated: “I am looking forward to working with my fellow directors and the Woolworths team, both in South Africa and in Australia, to assist them on their ambition of becoming a leading southern hemisphere retailer.”

South African Australian businesswoman, Gail Kelly

Previously, Kelly was CEO of St George Bank from 2002 to 2007 and head of Westpac group from 2008 to 2015.

Kelly was a member on various committees during her tenure on Woolworths Holdings’s board including Nomination, Remuneration, Sustainability and Risk and Compliance.

Allaway, who joined the board in 2014, served on the Audit, Treasury, Remuneration, and Risk and Compliance committees.

Woolworths provided no explanation for Kelly’s and Allaway’s departures.

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