The Coles Group today announced Leah Weckert will take over as CEO in May as Steve Cain retires after five years at the top.
Weckert comes to the role after more than a decade with Coles, holding positions including Chief Executive, Commercial and Express, Chief Financial Officer, People and Culture Director and State General Manager, Victorian Supermarkets.
She has also been a senior member of the Executive Leadership Team since the demerger of Coles from the Wesfarmers Group in 2018.
James Graham, Chairman of Coles, said Weckert is well positioned to create long-term competitive and sustainable growth for the Coles Group over the course of her tenure.
“Leah has an outstanding track record of leadership and driving change inside Coles across key operating areas of the business. I am confident that Leah will maintain the focus of Coles in driving our strategy, building trust with all stakeholders and growing long term shareholder value.
“Leah has personal and professional qualities which together with broad business experience uniquely qualify her for the role as our next Chief Executive,” said Graham.
Weckert said she’s honoured to be the CEO-elect and is excited about the many opportunities for growth and improvement over the years to come.
“I am very honoured to be appointed as the next CEO of Coles, which has been such an important part of Australian retailing for more than 100 years, and play a part in its ongoing contribution to the Australian community.
“We have a transformational strategy that, through the hard work of our 130,000 team members, will deliver better experiences for customers and create value for shareholders. I am excited by the many opportunities and look forward to bringing them to fruition over the years ahead,” she said.
Thanking Cain for his exemplary leadership over the past five years, Graham said: “On behalf of the Board, I wish to recognise and thank Steven for his leadership of Coles since joining in 2018. Steven successfully steered the Group through demerger; developed and pursued a strategy which has seen it become one of the most trusted brands in Australia.
“Steven’s leadership through the challenging Covid period saw Coles play a most important role in meeting essential community needs, increasing our reputation with key stakeholders and keeping customers and team members safe.”
On his retirement, Cain congratulated Weckert and acknowledged the Coles Board, team members and partners for their support over the past five years.
“I would like to thank the Coles Board, team and our many partners for their support, insights and resilience – particularly during Covid, bushfires and floods. I would like to congratulate Leah on becoming my successor and I wish Coles continued success, and know that the best is yet to come,” he said.