Woolworths to pay full price for CEO

Woolworths’ new chief is unlikely to steal the title of Australia’s highest paid executive from former Coles boss Ian McLeod, who collected almost AUD55 million (USD39.5m) over five years for turning around the once-struggling supermarket chain.

However, analysts and investors are in little doubt that Woolworths’ chairman Gordon Cairns will have to dig deep to hire a top-notch US or European food industry executive to restore the fortunes of Australia’s largest retailer.

Senior food industry and supermarket executives in the US and Europe generally earned between AUD3 million and AUD9 million in 2015, according to Citigroup, compared with the AUD2.2 million that Woolworths’ outgoing chief executive Grant O’Brien collected in 2014-15 after missing performance targets.

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