New Woolworths SA CEO appointed
Woolworths Holdings Limited on Wednesday announced the appointment of Zyda Rylands as CEO of Woolworths South Africa. “Zyda will take responsibility for the entire food and clothing business across South Africa and Africa‚” according to a statement.This change brings consistency to the group structure‚ with all of the main business units‚ namely Woolworths South Africa‚ David Jones and Country Road Group as well as the group positions of chief operating officer‚ chief financial officer and group secretary reporting into Ian Moir‚ group CEO.“Zyda has worked in many parts of the Woolworths business including finance‚ HR and operations during her 20 year career with the business. Under her leadership‚ Woolworths Foods has transformed into a sizeable foods business with a reputation for quality‚ innovation and sustainability.“Since Zyda’s appointment‚ Woolworths Foods has seen 83% growth in turnover as well as a 240% growth in profit‚” the statement said.“Zyda is a talented and inspirational retailer and leader and has delivered consistently strong results as MD of our foods business – growing both market share and margin whilst understanding and anticipating our customers’ needs‚” said Moir.“This year has been transformational for our group with the acquisition of David Jones turning us into a southern hemisphere retailer of scale. Ensuring each major business has a CEO who is clearly focussed and responsible for driving growth and profitability‚ will better position us to deliver our strategic objectives.”Rylands said‚ “I am incredibly excited by this opportunity. Our strategy is clear in South Africa and Africa and I am very much looking forward to leading such an amazing brand and talented group of people.”Rylands was born and educated in Cape Town‚ and completed a B.Com at the University of Cape Town and B.Com (Honours) at the University of the Western Cape. She then completed her articles at Kessel Feinstein and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1993.During her 20 years at Woolworths‚ she worked as an audit manager and after 18 months was appointed as executive assistant to the Woolworths MD. She then headed up financial accounting and corporate planning‚ played a role as financial executive for all of Woolworths stores and moved to Gauteng to head up a commercial division.In 2004 Rylands was appointed director of people‚ and in 2006 she was the first female executive director to be appointed to the Woolworths Holding board as director of people and transformation. In 2008 she was appointed as the chief operating officer: support services. Rylands was appointed MD for foods in 2010.