Woolworths chairman Simon Susman told shareholders at Tuesday’s annual general meeting that the board was confident of the group’s Australian strategy. "We believe in the strategy and we believe in Ian [Moir, the CEO] and his team … but we are in the eye of the storm," said Susman. Moir said the board "thoroughly believes" in the overall strategy but acknowledged the execution of that strategy "has let us down in some areas". Despite the disappointing financial 2017 results and the almost halving of the share price over the past two years, only one institutional shareholder attended the meeting and quizzed the board on the group’s performance. Asief Mohamed of Aeon Investment Management also wanted to know why Moir, who had driven the multibillion-dollar acquisition of the Australian retail group David Jones, had been paid a R15m retention bonus, while other senior executives had received only modest incentive awards. Tom Boardman, chairman of Woolworths’ remuneration committee, sai...

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