Woolworths loses two directors in Australia


Woolworths loses two directors in Australia

Published Date: 2019-02-12 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Woolworths loses two directors in Australia

The retailer gave no reasons for the sudden resignation of directors Gail Kelly and Patrick Allaway.

Two directors of Woolworths in Australia have resigned with immediate effect from the retailer's board less than a week after the CEO of Australian subsidiary David Jones also quit.

In a statement yesterday, Woolworths gave no reasons for the sudden departure of Gail Kelly and Patrick Allaway, both of whom were independent non-executive directors.

Kelly also served as a member of the Nomination, Remuneration, Sustainability and Risk and Compliance committees and Allaway served as a member of the Audit, Treasury, Remuneration, and Risk and Compliance committees.

Allaway was appointed to the board in December 2014, months after the acquisition of David Jones, while Kelly joined the board a year later. She previously held a number of executive positions at Nedbank, before moving to Australia where she served as CEO and managing director of two banks.

After David Jones CEO David Thomas resigned last week, the retailer said Group CEO Ian Moir would work directly with David Jones management while it found a replacement for Thomas, who left for personal reasons.

Thomas took on the role in 2017 after his predecessor John Dixon was promoted to the position of CEO of Woolworths Australia. Dixon himself replaced Iain Nairn as CEO in 2015. Nairn was previously head of Country Road but moved into the David Jones position after Paul Zahra quit weeks after Woolworths finalised its $2.1 billion takeover of the department store.

The acquisition hasn't gone as smoothly as expected. Woolworths impaired the carrying value of its investment by close to R7 billion in its 2018 financial year, which it said reflected the cyclical downturn and structural changes that had impacted performances across the Australian retail sector. It also admitted to poor or delayed execution in certain of its key initiatives.

Woolworths' shares closed 3.3% down at R45.80 yesterday.

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