Tesco veteran as supermarket

Investors are calling on Woolworths to give customers reasons to shop there again, as Australia’s number one supermarket chain surprises investors with news it has appointed a Tesco veteran from the UK as its managing director of supermarkets.

In a long-awaited appointment, Claire Peters, who started as a graduate at Tesco and currently serves as its chief operating officer in Thailand, will step into the key role in July.

Ms Peters is the first woman to hold the role of MD, Woolworths Supermarkets, and will report to Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci.

Mr Banducci has held the supermarkets boss role since the former Woolworths director of supermarkets and petrol, Tjeerd Jegen, left Woolworths almost two years ago.

Mr Banducci will “continue to play an active leadership role in the Woolworths Supermarkets, Digital, Metro and New Zealand Supermarkets businesses,” the company said.

Ms Peters said in a statement: “Successful retailers put their customers first and I look forward to continuing to drive Woolworths’ existing customer-led strategy.”

Mr Banducci said “cultural fit is critically important to us and Claire has the ability to work with our team to further develop our ‘Customer 1st and Team 1st’ strategy.”

One high-profile investor said Woolworths needed to get customers interested in shopping there again.