HomeFoodWoolworths boss announces resignation

Woolworths boss announces resignation

Well, that was quick. Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci announced this morning he will be stepping down from his position.

It comes after the car crash interviews the chief executives of Coles and Woolworths gave Four Corners on Monday.

My take? They probably should have sacked their publicity department instead. I’m not sure why both these very clever people agreed to go head to head with the Four Corners team, but it did not end well for them.

Mr Banducci walked off at one point during the interview after taking a swipe at former ACCC chairman Rod Sims for being ‘retired’. In Mr Banducci’s defence, he wanted the comment removed as he felt it was disrespectful, but it wasn’t a good look for him.

Four Corners is not some tame lifestyle program on commercial television. It’s the ABC’s leading investigative program, and they are not going to cut you any slack because you want a ‘do over’.

Playing dress-ups

Mr Banducci’s ‘costume’ of an ordinary worker’s uniform was probably meant to convey him as a man of the people, but it just came across as trying too hard.

Coles chief executive Leah Weckert didn’t fare much better. There was a bit of waffle, some deflection, and “I can’t comment on individual cases”. Not very impressive.

It probably didn’t help that the interview comes just weeks after the disastrous publicity Woolworths attracted for its decision not to stock Australia Day merchandise. The company did not get ahead of that public discourse and seemed to shut down in the face of some spirited debate.

I wonder if he jumped or was pushed? Corporate boards are loathe to turf out a CEO as they are often all on the same cushy renumeration packages, and Coles and Woolworths are known for the some of the best.

Adding to the mix, Coles and Woolworths are facing further scrutiny, with inquiries by both the Senate and the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority (ACCC) into price gouging.

Should Ms Weckert be feeling nervous?

This week’s best deals


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Indulgence: Hot Cross Bun varieties, $3.69. Buns, so many buns. Aldi has decided to ditch the ‘spiced fruit buns’ it has been selling all year that look exactly like hot cross buns and sell actual hot cross buns. Good, but no weird flavours, which is disappointing from Aldi.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Corned Silverside, $10/kg, save $1. Putting this in here for the only reason that silverside hardly ever goes on sale. Australia’s blazing-heat summer seems an odd time to advertise something that needs boiling for hours, but you do you.

Indulgence: Smiths Double Crunch varieties, $3.35. Is there really double crunch? Is it measured somewhere? I think it’s the crinkle cut that does it. Crinkle cut is far superior to ordinary slices and this is the hill I will die on.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Armor All Wash and Wax car cleaner, half price $6.25. Please never wash your car with ordinary dish detergent. Dishwashing liquid is designed to be abrasive to get the chunks off your saucepans. They can strip the ‘shine’ off your car. Pay for the real car cleaning stuff – it will be worth it and this is an excellent special.

Indulgence: Mix A Mato Tomatoes, $3.75, was $5.90. Is this most expensive way you can eat tomatoes? Possibly. But they also come with a small package of salt and dressing so you can make a mini salad on the go. Love the convenience.

See the catalogue here.


Sensible: Australian Williams pears, $2.99/kg. Pears are at their peak at the moment, so dive in and take advantage. We love this poached pear recipe for picnics.

Indulgence: Bulla Splits, $7.15, 10 pack. It’s hot out there, and in times like this chocolate-covered ice cream just doesn’t cut it. Splits may make your teeth hurt, but they are refreshing on a hot day.

See the catalogue here.

Did you watch the Four Corners interview? Did you think it was that bad? Why not share your opinion in the comments section below?

Also read: How Coles and Woolworths maintain their power over the grocery market

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisherhttp://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/author/JanFisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. Yes, I watched Four Corners; twice, because some of it was almost unbelievable. The lengths these two companies have gone to is a betrayal of their customers. Though probably not their shareholders. Although it was a train wreck for the Woolworths CEO, the cold-as-ice performance by the Coles CEO left me unimpressed. Unwilling to believe her. I was horrified by Coles’ “dark stores” where the temperature can hit 34 or 35, yet the staff get a mere 15 minutes break in 5 hours, as they chase ever-increasing pickrate. The result of the Four Corners program – they have given staff chilled neckties. Also, I wondered, what effect does that heat have on the groceries? I thought I saw packages of meat there. I’m tied into the big 2, as I need to order online. I have been to Aldi, but not enough checkouts open (Canberra Centre), while I’m fuming as my bus departs. My biggest point, however, is that producers are not paid enough. This must change.

    • There are workers at Myer Carousel WA forced to work in hotter conditions for longer, with no working air conditioning and not allowed to have fans. Staff and customers have been at breaking point of fainting during the last few weeks of extreme weatger conditions. No water bottles allowed on tge floor to keep hydrated, and every morning you wake up stressed because you have to get a 10 out of 10 or at least a 9 out of 10 for your customers surveys each and every morning. Even if you get a compliment but the customer scores you an 8 out of 10 you are judged by management and told to do your job better, whilst they sit upstairs in a freezing office with beautiful air conditioning watching us on the cctv cameras, and we get in trouble if we have a simple chat which is usually about how hot we are or our score being not good enough for the company. Very hard to work in these conditions whilst the company make rising profits and the workers suffer not only physically but mentally as well

  2. IF all the retailers cut back on their stock levels, that would save waste, and keep the product fresh on display. This rubbish about “we need a larger display as the product races off the shelf!” RUBBISH!

    Products like avocados, nectarines, peaches etc, are all bruised and damaged from idiot customers who pick them up, squeeze the life out of them and throw them back onto the remaining stock – damaging three – rather than just one. Even staff have never been trained in how to manage produce and fruit! I watched a staff member the other day, just tip a box full of nectarines out onto the remaining product! GREAT – 50% of that stock is now ready for the bin!

    And don’t get me started on bacon! Pork is at its cheapest, and middle bacon at all the retailers has gone from $9 kilo to $17 and $18? WHY? Rice Bubbles – now $17 a box? GIVE ME A BREAK!!! We are pensioners and with two half filled bags of shopping the other day at Woolworths, $129!!

    We went to Fresh and Save in a different town in Qld, and the same amount of shopping – $48!

  3. Last night I watched the final episode of Mt Banks V The Post Office.

    Banducci’s (Woolworths) and Weckert’s (Coles) interviews were a carbon copy of the CEO and GM of the UK Post Office. Had they done the right thing in the first place, lives would not have been lost and families would not have been torn apart!

    The CEO of the UK Post Office – was a priest during the weekend – preaching “Do good to those around you,” – yet ripped off, accused, bankrupted, criminally charged and caused two to commit suicide – the “little Post Office franchisees”.

    Reading about Coles’ “Dark Store” and the conditions the staff have to work in is preposterous and criminal! WHERE ARE THE UNIONS NOW??

  4. Industry enquires have no long term effect on these guys they are in the fortunate position of being able to “ Screw” the suppliers and manufacturers for every thing from case off allowances, warehouse allowances, ullage , ranging incentives , the list goes on. Oh and the enquirery should have included manufacturers “ product down sizing” which is a bigger rip of.
    One final thing on Mr. Brad from Woolworths…. ,the lesson of the consequences of personal diversion into issues when some big head takes it upon themselves to “ lecture “ us all on social and moral issues should not be lost on other Woke company Boards.
    Just stick to your business of providing value service , looking after employees and making a fair return for shareholders….leave the social engineering to others, god knows there are enough other Woke lecturers out there.

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