Countdown has announced that managing director Dave Chambers will leave the business on 30th June 2018. Chambers has been with Countdown and Progressive Enterprises for 39 years in total and has been managing director on two occasions. He has also spent a year as director of Woolworths Supermarkets in Australia. Chambers said that Countdown business is performing strongly and because of this momentum he can now leave the business confident it is well placed to continue on this trajectory.

I am proud to leave the business performing strongly, with a committed and passionate team that care about each other, our customers, our suppliers and the communities we operate in," Chambers said. "I am delighted with the transformational work we have undertaken around team culture and  I am also proud of the way Countdown leads the industry in a number of important ways, including being New Zealand’s first supermarket to phase-out caged eggs and single use plastic carrier bags.

Chambers added that he will miss the team and the incredible rush of retail, but the time feels right to take some time out to travel with his family before looking for a new challenge.

"Dave has contributed a huge amount to this business, including moving to Australia at the drop of a hat to help to stabilise our business here, and then, a year later, moving back to New Zealand to implement a new strategic direction for the business there," said Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci. "He leaves our New Zealand business in good heart, and I want to thank him for his important contribution to the Group and wish him well into the future."

A successor for Dave Chambers will be announced in due course.