Woolworths names new boss of China’s largest liquor retailer

Steve Donohue might not have known it then, back when he was a teenager managing a Dan Murphy’s bottle shop: this was a job that would shape his career.

In the years that followed, he rose the ranks, becoming an executive in the Woolworths liquor division and holding leadership roles in buying, merchandising and marketing for the company’s Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

And, on Monday, Donohue was revealed as the new managing director of the Woolworths-owned Endeavour Drinks, the nation’s largest drinks retailer, which now runs a network of more than 1500 Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Cellarmasters, Langton’s and Pinnacle Drinks liquor stores across the country.

Supermarket giant Woolworths appointed Mr Donohue to the helm of the $8 billion Endeavour Drinks business to replace the division’s managing director, Martin Smith, who is soon to retire.

Donohue, whose current job title is Woolworths’ director of supermarket buying and merchandising, will start the role in July.

“Steve rejoins our drinks team after spending the last five years rebuilding our buying and merchandising capabilities, first at Countdown in New Zealand and more recently in his role with Woolworths Supermarkets in ,” Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said.

“He’s been instrumental in delivering our Woolworths Supermarkets pricing and range strategy aswell as transforming our supplier engagement program.”

In a statement, Mr Banducci thanked Mr Smith, who has been running Endeavour Drinks since 2015.

“Martin and the Endeavour Drinks team have helped build the leading business we have today,” he said.

Endeavour is one of the Woolworths Group’s better performing divisions producing earnings before interest and tax of $502.5 million last year an increase of 3.9 per cent on the previous year.

Woolworths shares closed unchanged at $27.25 on Monday.