BIG W CEO QUITS AFTER 11 MONTHS

Written on the 16 November 2016 by Lin Evlin

BIG W CEO QUITS AFTER 11 MONTHS

SALLY MacDonald has resigned as chief executive of BIG W ending her tenure at the helm of the struggling discount chain store owned by Woolworths Group.

David Walker, who previously led the now dismantled Woolworths' home improvement businesses, will replace McDonald in the interim.

McDonald first joined BIG W in January this year and was previously the chief executive of luxury fashion accessory company Oroton.

Brad Banducci, chief executive of Woolworths Group, says that MacDonald has made material progress towards restructuring the discount chain store, especially in relation to the areas of  "direct sourcing, product development, supply chain, business simplification and cost reduction."

"However, despite these and other positive changes, it is apparent that the transformation of BIG W will take three to five years to complete and unfortunately, this time horizon is inconsistent with Sally's expectation when she joined BIG W," Banducci says.

"We look forward to continuing the momentum of change at BIG W, with a continued focus on BIG W's longterm success."

BIG W performed poorly in its September quarter results with sales decreasing by 5.7 per cent to $880 million compared to the previous period.

The chain store also suffered a full year loss in FY16 of $15 million as declining sales and extensive clearance activity hampered its performance.

In stark contrast, Big W's competitor, Kmart's sales revenue was $1.2 billion for the latest quarter, up by 11.2 per cent from the previous period.


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