Fishing with family - this is the Grant we know.

IT IS not every day you learn your brother has been made CEO of one of the country’s biggest companies.

I shouldn’t have been surprised; he had been on that career trajectory for a while. But hearing the news come through the car radio that my older brother was to be the new CEO of Woolworths nearly made me veer off the road.

Everything else aside, it was a proud moment for what is a large and close family – seven children in all. Watching him on national television was more than surreal.

This was a bloke I grew up idolising, more for his ability on the football field than his future abilities in the boardroom.

He was much older than me, but the trips to Canberra and then south to Clarence to see him play footy remain some of the best memories of my life.

Even greater still were the memories of kick-to-kick alone in some vacant park oval. They remain vivid to this day.

The grief I gave his poor then future wife was regrettable now, but at the time I felt she was taking my big brother away from me. Silly, I know now.

As time went on, he and his family provided what felt like a second home for Princess Kel and I in Sydney as our own relationship grew.

Covering the 2000 Sydney Olympics was as memorable for the time spent with his family as it was for the Olympic experience itself – including my first introduction to pull-up nappies while babysitting his youngest (which time and an entire box of Wet Ones could not erase). But that’s a whole other story which I might tell with her approval one day…

To me, he’s not the CEO of Woolies. He’s the bloke who had long straggly hair, dodgy early taste in cars and who was more capable of installing a new power point than reading a board report (he started working life as an apprentice sparkie).

And while it is that way for siblings, it appears it’s the same for mothers and their children.

My brother relayed a story to me last night, which illustrates my point exactly. He rang my mum yesterday morning to tell her the news of his appointment before the announcement was made nationally.

“Mum, I’ve just been appointed the CEO of Woolworths,’’ he said.

“That’s nice, dear. How are the children?’’ Mum said.

Yep, sums it up nicely, I reckon.

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30 Responses to SHED: New Woolworths CEO through the eyes of his brother

  1. A big congrats to your brother! Woolworths is my local hang out…it’s where you’ll catch me if you don’t find me at home 😉
    It is also my chocolate enabler.

    “That’s nice, dear. How are the children?’’ Mum said.

    Yep, sums it up nicely, I reckon.

    Haha!! Hilarious!!

  2. Toni says:

    Nothing like your mum for bringing you back to the ground, hey? I read this out to my husband and we both had a good chuckle, but also serious grats to your brother. That’s really an impressive achievement.

  3. feli says:

    Congratulations to you and your family. I can now tell people that I know the CEO of Woolies. He is the brother / brother in law of my blogger friend. HAHHA…

  4. Judith Whiley says:

    Congratulations to Grant
    from the Whiley’s
    Nice to see betty bring reality back to the moment.

  5. rachel says:

    your mother in laws comment is gold! it’s such a huge thing but to her its just good news and now what have my precious grand kids been up to? so cute!
    congrats to your brother in law. he sounds very deserving of the new role – hope he passes the family discount on to you all!!

    • Hi Rach,
      Apologies for the confusion, but Kel posted this under her byline by mistake. It took her half a day to realise!
      I think it was either baby brain or she was trying to steal some of my story cred. 🙂
      No, we are all very happy for him and his terrific family and I don’t think we’ll be too concerned about a discount. We’ll be a bit suspicious if we all get Woolies vouchers for Chrissy though.

  6. penny says:

    wowser…on him!, I actually watch that on the tv other night..

  7. Leonie White says:

    Good to see Bett’s has her priorities right. Congratulations to Grant though, they say things come in three’s, so hopefully it will run in the family.

  8. Mothers are the best. Lol. Does she know what a CEO is?

    • In mum’s defence, she does know the magnitude of it and what a CEO is. We’d all kinda expected this for a while, so I guess it wasn’t a HUGE surprise and to mum it’s not important really. She’d love my brother the same even if he was a tax collector.
      Family is her life and life is family. We all love her and owe her for it,
      I hope our kids feel the same way.

    • Outoftowner says:

      Not at all Jules I think it shows how much you love and respect your Mum. She’s a keeper!

  9. Glowless says:

    Big congrats to Grant!

  10. Denyse says:

    Hiya! Found this post via Flog ya Blog!
    Congrats to bro .. And love mum’s comments.
    We grandparents have to ask about the kids.. It’s our job!
    The CEO’s workplace when he’s not busy looking at stores, is literally 5 mins from where I live.
    Woolworths even had the street name changed:
    Woolworths Way
    Bella Vista.
    The building, complex of all kinds, accommodation, does indeed take up a whole street & a corner! Saw it all go up too!
    Small(ish) world!

  11. Kirrily says:

    What an achievement! Congrats to your brother and a great post to read from his younger brother. Very lovely to hear your love for him. Your mum is a classic. Love it!

  12. Love this! What an achievement and how nice to see it through a younger brother’s eyes.

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

  13. Such great perspective – from you and from your Mum on what really matters. I love hearing about big families and how the relationships between siblings develop into adulthood. This was a nice little surprise find thru weekend rewind.

  14. Thanks Michelle. Lovely feedback.

  15. ha. Love your Mum’s response. You were lucky having an obviously great role model to look up to. Congrats to your brother.

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