A leader of Woolworths’ tech activities has risen to CEO during a controversial week for the supermarket giant. 

Woolworths Group has announced the elevation of Amanda Bardwell, leader of its digital and e-commerce arm WooliesX, as the new Chief Executive Officer. 

The announcement comes as Brad Banducci, the current CEO, prepares to step down in September after a tenure marked by both achievements and controversies.

Bardwell has significantly shaped WooliesX since May 2017, and is credited with transforming it into a $7 billion powerhouse.

Under her stewardship, WooliesX witnessed exponential growth, and Woolworths Group chair Scott Perkins has lauded her as a “proven leader, business builder and modern retailer”, emphasising her role in the digital expansion and her respect within the organisation.

Brad Banducci's impending departure is shadowed by recent events, largely his abrupt exit from a Four Corners interview, after a contentious exchange regarding competition in the supermarket sector and pricing strategies.

This incident, coupled with the scrutiny over Woolworths' market dominance and pricing practices, marks a challenging period of Banducci's leadership.

The market's reaction to Banducci's tenure has been mixed, with Woolworths achieving significant financial success yet facing criticism over market concentration and alleged price gouging.

Woolworths' and Coles' dominance in the market continues, driving concerns about the impact on Australian consumers.

As Woolworths transitions to Bardwell's leadership, the company says its focus is on steering the Group towards sustainable growth, innovation, and addressing the mounting regulatory and public scrutiny over competition and pricing practices. 

Bardwell's ascendancy is seen as a fresh start, an opportunity to reshape Woolworths' strategy and public image in the wake of Banducci's exit.