Woolworths (Woolies) said yesterday that it would not retain the Woolies SA (WSA) chief executive position after it advised that due to personal circumstances, Zyda Rylands, would be taking early retirement.

Rylands, who is the chief executive of WSA and is also an executive director of WHL, would be stepping down from these roles with effect from September 30, the firm said.

“The group has reviewed its leadership structure for WSA and will not retain the WSA CEO role as it seeks to streamline its operating model,” it said.

At the request of the board, Rylands had agreed to defer her planned early retirement and remain with the group through to 2024. For the remainder of her tenure, she would lead the WSA Foods business, which she had been instrumental in growing and positioning as an industry-leading, food retailer, Woolies said.

The board thanked Rylands for her significant contribution to the WHL board in her capacity as an executive director since 2006 and as the WSA chief executive over the past six years.


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