THE BIG READ
Woolworths wobbles as Australia woes mount
Board backs Moir but tough talk likely behind the scenes
On Thursday, Ian Moir faces the difficult task of selling yet another approach to rescuing the fortunes of Woolworths' troubled Australian subsidiary, David Jones, after a spate of resignations in recent weeks unravelled previous plans for a turnaround at the almost 200-year-old department store. Moir presents the company's interim results in Cape Town this week, after warning shareholders in January that headline earnings may fall as much as 5%. Though some of Woolworths' biggest shareholders are keeping mum and the board is still backing their CEO, who led the acquisition of the department store chain founded in 1838, analysts have suggested that there may be some robust discussions behind the scenes regarding his future. Moir was appointed in November 2010 and some four years into his tenure took the company into Australia as part of an ambitious plan to make Woolworths one of the largest retail players in the southern hemisphere. It's a plan that has so far failed to bear any fr...