Woolworths’s ailing Australian department chain, which has already cost it R7bn in write-offs, will have to appoint a fourth CEO in five years, making its turnaround even more difficult. The sudden departure of David Thomas as CEO of upmarket retailer David Jones for undefined "personal reasons", increases the pressure on Woolworths CEO Ian Moir, who now has to run the subsidiary until a replacement is found, as well as turn around the South African clothing operation, which is struggling to compete with international players such as H&M and Cotton On. Moir’s performance has come under intense examination, as David Jones, which was acquired in April 2014, and its South African clothing operation, have struggled. The David Jones debacle resulted in Woolworths writing down an amount equivalent to nearly 10% of its market capitalisation on the JSE a year ago. Woolworths’s share price has fallen nearly 24% in the past year, shaving R14.87bn off its market capitalisation. The group said ...

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