Woolworths has a new CIO

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Woolworths has a new CIO

Relocates exec from South Africa.

Supermarket giant Woolworths has lured a technology executive from the group's South African operations to become its new Australian chief information officer.

John Hunt will start in his new role on February 13, ending a 25-year career with Woolworths South Africa that spanned senior IT and retail leadership roles. 

"[Hunt] is passionate about retailing and views technology as a key enabler to both support the work of frontline team members and ensure that customers have the best shopping experience possible," Woolworths said in a statement.

"John has a strong commitment to business partnering and to leading the IT organisation in a way that is both collaborative and commercially focused."

Hunt replaces Clive Whincup, who left the retailer midway through this year after two years in the CIO role. Whincup later relocated to London to work as the European chief information officer for HSBC.

Prior to his departure Whincup had initiated a digital and analytics technology drive to bring online offerings to customers within physical stores in real-time.

In August Woolworths signalled an increased focus on its technology basics after stumbling towards the stabilisation of its new SAP-based merchandising system.

It identified fixing IT as one of its key priorities in its pursuit to become a "lean retailer".

The retailer has just started work on a new "IT foundation program" that aims to "catch up on underinvestment in IT infrastructure", with a specific focus on self-service check-outs (SCOs) and point-of-sale systems.

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