Woolworths senior executive Claire Peters jumps to Amazon Fresh

Woolworths Group senior executive Claire Peters has resigned to move to Seattle to become global vice president at online grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh.

Ms Peters formerly ran Woolworth’s 1000-odd supermarkets for three years, but in 2020 moved into a newly created position as managing director of B2B and Everyday Needs, where she oversaw a range of businesses including discount chain Big W.

She also leads Woolworths International, Wholesale and Property and was in charge of the company’s partnership with PFD Food Services, seen as a new growth path for the retailer. It is understood that Woolworths has not yet considered a replacement for Ms Peters.

Ms Peters’ departure may be seen as blow to the company that will likely have industry players talking about succession planning at the country’s biggest supermarket with CEO Brad Banducci now 6 ½ years at the helm.

However, one source suggested Ms Peters likely moved on after considering her future prospects at Woolworths, where she might not be in the running for the top job.

Ms Peters has been appointed vice president World Wide Amazon Fresh, and assumes her new role in the US at the beginning of 2023.

Amazon Fresh is a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Amazon, which offers free same-day grocery delivery and pickup in select locations for Prime members. It has been expanding rapidly earlier in August opening its 41st store in Washington. It only opened its first brick-and-mortar store about two years ago.

A key offer of Amazon Fresh is its Just Walk Out Shopping technology, which allows customers to shop and pay with Amazon’s app skipping the checkout lines.

Ms Peters is an experienced retailer with over 25 years’ industry experience, having begun her retail career as a graduate for giant UK grocery retailer, Tesco.

Mr Banducci said in a statement that Ms Peters has played a key role in transforming the supermarkets business, and building the foundations of B2B and Everyday Needs,

“As the managing director of Woolworths supermarkets, Claire elevated the focus on our customers while also materially improving our retail operations,” he said.

“Since September 2020 Claire has helped to guide the transformation of BIG W; establish our end-to-end meat business Greenstock; and progress our partnerships including Endeavour Group, PFD and Ampol.

“The biggest imprint Claire will leave on our business is her care for team and communities, on show in the leadership role she played during the repeated waves of COVID, and her purposeful work on reconciliation with the support of the First Nations Advisory Board.”

Ms Peters will remain with the business through the end of calendar 2022.


Extracted from AFR

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