Against the odds Wesfarmers has taken Coles to the top of the supermarket tree
FIRST thing in the morning on November 20, 2007, Richard Goyder, chief executive of Wesfarmers, and I walked in the front door of the vast Coles Headquarters in Melbourne, known then as ”Battleship Galactica”. Wesfarmers had just become the new owner of Coles after a prolonged $19.7 billion takeover battle. For 10 years, this iconic Australian brand had underperformed.
The head office was bloated and the business poorly managed – every aspect was in decay.
To say the least, it was a bold acquisition.
Astonishingly, there was no one to greet the new owner. Instead, we struggled through reception, past the wall of security gates, through a labyrinth of corridors, past listless staff clutching papers, and into a large, suitably grey, auditorium.
Slowly, people started filtering in. Seemingly there was no urgency, no jubilation and not much fear either. As with many failing businesses, it was another day, another new management.
Wesfarmers could have been forgiven for thinking, ”What have we bought?” Sydney Morning Herald – Read more…