Foodstuffs North Island has appointed a new general manager merchandise from within the co-operative’s own ranks. David Stewart moves into the role following six years as Foodstuffs North Island chief financial officer.
Stewart will start his new role immediately, but his last official duty as CFO will be on 11 August when he delivers the Foodstuffs North Island Group’s financial results at its AGM.
He was recognised as 2015 CFO of the year at last year’s annual CFO of the Year awards.
Stewart played a central role in a merger between Foodstuffs Auckland and Foodstuffs Wellington, resulting in substantial savings in overheads and a new organisation earning a total of $7 billion of income a year.
Foodstuffs North Island chief executive Chris Quinn says Stewart’s leadership has been a key factor in the financial health of the co-operative and his leadership in the merchandise team is the right step.
“David’s strategic thinking, commercial acumen and strong leadership will be hugely beneficial in making shopping easier for customers, saving them time while innovating to provide inspiration about what to buy via the channel that is most convenient for them,” Quinn says.
Stewart’s new role is about ensuring Foodstuffs stocks the products customers want. He will have to identify where spending habits may shift to and work with suppliers on new product innovations.
He says shifting his focus away from raw figures and to consumer trends is an exciting challenge.
“We know that shoppers are thinking more about healthy options and increasingly looking for products that have been sourced sustainably. We’ve got to respond to those demands while at the same time continuing to offer great value and range,” Stewart says.
Stewart replaces outgoing Baden Ngan Kee in his new role.
Foodstuffs North Island’s group financial controller David Ison will be the acting CFO until the hunt is over for a replacement. Ison praised Ngan Kee for his hard work and dedication.
“Under Baden’s leadership, the merchandise team has excelled, keeping on top of consumer trends and delivering innovative solutions across our banners at a time of increasing focus on e-commerce," Ison says.
Ngan Kee now works as an independent consultant.