Woolies CEO to step down following Four Corners interview

ABC current affairs claims a scalp after its very first episode for 2024.

Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci is retiring after 8 years, just days after a Four Corners interview in which he was seen walking out.

The supermarket giant has announced on the ASX that it is promoting Amanda Bardwell to the top job, after an “extensive international search process”.

Ms Bardwell has worked for the company for 23 years and is currently heading up its sub-division, WooliesX.

The announcement comes as Woolworths releases its latest profit results and as the company faces ongoing allegations of price gouging and unfair practices with suppliers.

Just this week, ABC’s Four Corners aired footage of the departing CEO walking out of an interview.

The interview delved into how the country’s biggest supermarket chains profit off rising prices.

Dressed in an employee uniform, Banducci spoke to ABC reporter Angus Grigg, who said the walkout followed a “pretty basic line of questioning” about competition law.

Grigg had 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 claimed: “It’s not true” before listing how other supermarkets operate close to Woolworths stores.

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

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

Flustered, Banducci asked if that part of the interview can 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 gets ready to walk off, he can be heard saying “I do this with good intent. I don’t do this with bad intent.”

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

Banducci later returned to finish the interview, with a startled-looking Grigg saying: “Let’s keep going.”

Source; ABC 1news

11 Responses

  1. Neither CEO made a good impression with their performances on Four Corners, but Woolies’ CEO walking out in the middle of his interview was highly unprofessional. While he did return to the interview after a short while, the damage was already done. I hope the next CEO of Woolies will do a better job at handling interviews, and, more importantly, be more considerate to workers, customers, and suppliers.

  2. Thank goodness for the ABC and thanks to the brilliant journos who work there.

    I can’t imagine any other network being able to do what Auntie does on a regular basis, and always in the service of us, the citizens, tax payers, consumers….voters. Maybe once upon a time their journo driven shows like 60 Minutes or Sunday or maybe even Hinch would have exposed corruption and bad behaviour at the ‘top levels’, but not now. The network sales departments would block their journos with arguments about lost revenue and corporate disaster when the likes of Woollies divert multi-million dollar advertising budget to the competition – who promise to never ’embarrass’ them on tele.

    Tony Abbott refusing to go on Nemesis wasn’t any better than Brad and his tantrum-turned-begging behaviour, but I guess that’s what we expected from Abbott and why he got the flick from his safe seat.

    4 Corners and the ABC are champions.

    1. This interview is exactly why we need public broadcasting. If this had taken place in an interview with a commercial network, Woolies would have used its mammoth ad spend as a bargaining tool and his bristling and walk out would have wound up on the cutting room floor.

  3. There’s another ‘what not to do’ masterclass for uni students studying PR and comms….
    The Coles CEO was also highly unimpressive, but at least kept her cool.

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