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Woolworths CEO and managing director retires after 28 years service

Woolworths CEO and managing director, Grant O’Brien, has announced his retirement.

Having worked at the company for 28 years, and as CEO since October 2011, Mr O’Brien said, “Woolworths is family to me and I have been honoured to work alongside our team of 200,000 hard-working, talented people for the past 28 years”.

To ensure an orderly transition period Woolworths has entered into a Transition and Separation Deed with Mr O’Brien who will continue to serve as CEO and Managing Director while a global executive search process is conducted by the Woolworths Board to appoint a new CEO. The company is also currently undertaking a search for a new Non-Executive Director following the recent retirement of Mr Ian McFarlane AC.

Woolworths Chairman, Ralph Waters, said; “I would like to pay tribute to Grant O’Brien for his commitment to Woolworths over 28 years. On behalf of the Board, senior management and staff, I would like to thank Grant for his ongoing contribution and for his willingness to stay at the helm until we appoint a successor.”

Mr O’Brien noted that the company’s recent performance has been disappointing and below expectations, saying that despite having set out clear strategies to grow the businesses over the next three years at a recent Investor Day, he believed that “it is in the best interests of the company for new leadership to see these plans to fruition”.

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