THE man driving major changes at Woolworth, Brad Banducci, has a huge job ahead of him.
Banducci was appointed as chief executive and managing director after Woolworths posted a $972.7 million loss in its half-year results earlier this year.
He has been at the fresh food retail group for almost five years, first coming on board as the managing director of the Woolworths Liquor Group in 2011.
He moved to the role of managing director of Woolworths Food Group, which oversees stores in Australia and New Zealand in early 2015.
Previously, he was heavily involved in the liquor industry and was said to be 'instrumental' in the the development of Dan Murphy's.
He owns an interest in a winery in Central Otago, New Zealand and has a personal passion for wine making.
Banducci joined Woolworths after the acquisition of the Cellarmasters Group, a direct wine retail and production company.
He was Chief Executive Officer of Cellarmasters from 2007 to 2011.
Prior to this, he was the Chief Financial Officer and Director, and later a Non-Executive Director at Tyro Payments and a Vice President and Director with The Boston Consulting Group, where he was a core member of their retail practice for fifteen years.
Very well educated, with a law and commerce degrees from South Africa, where he was born and grew up, Banducci is no stranger to hard work.
He grew up grew up working weekends in his mother's clothing business and father's sewing firm.
In Australia, he completed his MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management.
One of Banducci's biggest challenges is to win back the faith of investors and shareholders in Woolies.
The almost $1 billion loss reported in February was the first for Woolworths since listing on the exchange more than 20 years ago.
That loss follows its failed experiment with home improvement store Masters, which could never topple the hugely successful Bunnings operation.
Insiders say Woolworths has been losing some of its best people to Coles.
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