Westpac brings in WooliesX e-commerce GM to lead digital

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Westpac brings in WooliesX e-commerce GM to lead digital

Appoints new chief digital officer.

Westpac has brought WooliesX's general manager for e-commerce Jason Hair into a newly-created chief digital officer role.

Digital at Westpac formerly fell under the leadership of Martine Jager, who was chief digital and marketing officer (CDMO) up until she left the bank in January this year.

John Harries stepped in as acting CDMO; however, Westpac has now decided to split the role, with Hair leading digital and Harries continuing in an acting role for marketing.

Hair will report into Westpac’s chief executive consumer & business banking Chris de Bruin, when he joins the bank next month.

De Bruin said Hair will be responsible for “bolstering our digital capabilities and evolving our products and services to meet growing customer demand for more personalised banking experiences.”

“Digital transformation is a critical part of our business strategy and we are seeing customers increasingly use our mobile and online channels to do their banking," De Bruin said.

“Jason brings to Westpac extensive experience driving digital strategy and innovation for major brands, including Woolworths Group, Virgin Mobile and Thomson Reuters.

“We look forward to having him onboard to lead our digital function.”

Hair announced via LinkedIn that he was leaving Woolworths - and its digital operation WooliesX - after a combined six years.

“When I joined Woolworths I thought I was already somewhat customer focused and digitally savvy, however the experiences, challenges, pandemics and fiercely competitive landscape over my time here pushed me harder, broader and bolder than ever before in my career," Hair wrote.

“I became much more inquisitive and curious, I asked more questions and listened harder, I developed an insatiable appetite for data and analytics, I leant on the support of my team and my colleagues more and I took some pretty big and bold steps in the relentless pursuit to be the best for our customers, my team and our business.

“I am excited to announce that after taking a few weeks off I will be joining the Westpac team next month. I am looking forward to working with another great team and building greater digital experiences for our customers.”

WooliesX's new e-commerce GM

Hair was temporarily assigned the general manager of e-commerce position at WooliesX  and assisted with a handover of the function to former Groupon Australia CEO Alistair Venn, who took it over this month.

In his new role, Venn will lead the business-to-consumer teams and be accountable for the digital experience, merchandising, marketing and strategic development of the customer process and propositions. 

He will report to Woolworths e-commerce director Annette Karantoni.  

Speaking on the appointment, Karantoni said the team is “thrilled to have Alistair join the WooliesX team."

“Alistair has an impressive track record leading e-commerce businesses and will help us build an even more convenient and seamless online offer for our customers," she said.

“We’re really grateful to Jason for stepping into a temporary role in our e-commerce team to help us with the transition.”

Before joining the Woolworths team, Venn was the chief operating officer at SaaS technology company Safety Culture for two years.

Venn was previously managing director of Menulog for three years and CEO of Groupon Australia for over four years.

The news came as Woolworths announced plans to launch an online marketplace following a multi-million dollar investment in platform-as-a-service company Marketplacer.

The marketplace offering will be managed by a separate team in WooliesX and overseen by director of new business Faye Ilhan, with Lance Eerhard the general manger for the marketplace.

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