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Woolworths Finds New Managing Director

Woolworths supermarkets are set to get their first female managing director with Claire Peters.

Ms Peters said in a statement: “Successful retailers put their customers first and I look forward to continuing to drive Woolworths’ existing customer-led strategy.”

Peters will depart from her current position as Tesco Thailand’s COO in July and report directly to current managing director and chief executive Brad Banducci.

The company says that Mr Banducci will “continue to play an active leadership role in the Woolworths Supermarkets, Digital, Metro and New Zealand Supermarkets businesses.”

Meanwhile, Banducci himself says that “cultural fit is critically important to us and Claire has the ability to work with our team to further develop our ‘Customer 1st and Team 1st’ strategy.”

One Woolworths investor told the Sydney Morning Herald that the appointment “makes sense if they keep [discount department store chain] Big W, less so if they don’t as why would you need both a CEO and head of supermarkets if you only have supermarkets?”

“Plus, shipping in people from overseas has had mixed success for Woolies. Hopefully between now and July she’ll be able to come to terms with some of the nuances in operating here rather than the UK or Thailand,” they said.

Woolworths recently reported its first rise in same-store sales since 2015, with investors hopeful that Peters can grow that “modicum of momentum” into a full-blown turnaround for the once-dominant supermarket giant.

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