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Woolworths announces $972.7m loss, appoints new CEO

Woolworths has posted a net first-half loss of $972.7m and appointed Brad Banducci as CEO and Managing Director.

The company said in a statement that the result followed a massive $3.25 billion loss from its Masters home renovations business.

In January, Woolworths decided to close the Masters chain which had failed to compete with Bunnings.

The appointment of Banducci takes effect immediately. He will also continue in his previous role as Managing Director of Woolworths Food Group until a replacement is decided upon.

“We undertook a rigorous international search process to find the best person to rebuild the Woolworths business and return it to sustainable growth. While there were several strong candidates, the Board was unanimous that Brad was the strongest of the field,” said Woolworths Chairman Gordon Cairns.

“Brad has had 25 years in retail, including 15 years consulting to some of the world’s leading retailers, as well as private equity experience in retail. He has had five years with Woolworths , including his role in leading the growth of Woolworths Liquor Group. During this time he was instrumental in the development of Dan Murphy’s, one of Australia’s great retailers.”

Banducci said he was honoured to lead Woolworths and its 200,000 employees.

 “I am an entrepreneur at heart, and a retailer by discipline, and I want us to take our company back to its best levels of performance. My goal as CEO will be to recapture the spirit of innovation and customer focus right across the business, and to grow a culture where our people once again feel a strong ownership of the business.

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