Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci to Step Down After Car Crash ABC Interview

Brad Banducci, the CEO of Woolworths, will be stepping down from his position after serving for eight and a half years.

Woolworths made the announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Wednesday, stating that Banducci will retire in September of this year.

“It has been a privilege to be a member of the Woolies team and one I have never taken for granted,” Banducci said.

Amanda Bardwell, the current managing director of WooliesX, will take over as the new CEO and managing director of Woolworths Group effective September 1.

Banducci is set to appear before a Senate inquiry into the rising costs of food next month.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci is stepping down after a car-crash interview with ABC's Four Corners. Credit: ABC/Four Corners.
Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci is stepping down after a recent car-crash interview with ABC’s Four Corners. Credit: ABC/Four Corners.

Woolworths’ food sales have gone up by 5.2%, or 6.6% excluding tobacco, with the Australian Financial Review reporting “the company said prices were ‘continuing to moderate over the half’ with average increases of 1.3 per cent in the last three months of 2023. But margins continued to increase, and earnings for the division rose 8.2 per cent.”

Banducci’s retirement announcement follows closely on the heels of a contentious interview with ABC’s Four Corners, where Banducci abruptly ended the discussion after facing challenging questions.

The interview delved into the practices of supermarket giants like Woolworths and their role in profiting from rising prices amidst a cost-of-living crisis.

Coles and Woolworths have close to 2000 stores across Australia and raked in $84 Billion in revenue last year, records show.

Dressed in his employee uniform, Banducci engaged in conversation with ABC reporter Angus Grigg, whose line of questioning about competition law prompted the unexpected departure.

Grigg asked: “Rod Sims, the former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), says that we have one of the most concentrated supermarkets [sectors] in the world, is he lying?”

Banducci replied: “It’s not true” before listing how other supermarkets operate close to Woolworths stores.

Grigg interjected by saying: “The former head of the ACCC says” before being cut off himself by Banducci. “Retired… by the way,” Banducci said.

Grigg said: “I don’t think you would impugn his integrity and his understanding of competition law. He retired 18 months ago.”

Banducci regretfully then asked if that part of the interview could be removed. “I shouldn’t have said that,” he told Grigg.

“We’re on the record, you’ve said it… let’s just move on,” Grigg responded.

This then prompted Banducci to stand up, telling Grigg “I think I’m done”. As he preparing to storm off, he said, “I do this with good intent. I don’t do this with bad intent.”

“You’re walking out, really?” Grigg asked.

Labor has asked the competition regulator to investigate supermarkets like Woolworths, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese saying their conduct could be “an abuse of market power”.

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