Name: Tony Page
Was: General merchandise trading director at Asda, commercial and marketing director at Woolworths
Now: Consulting for private equity
Years in grocery: 22


Career background: Page joined Sainsbury’s as a graduate assistant. He then moved to Asda where he spent 13 years, latterly as executive board director of general merchandise trading. He then worked as commercial and marketing director at Woolworths for two years.

What have you been doing since you left Woolies?“I spent nine months trying to resurrect the best of Woolies under a new company. Although myself and a small team raised the finance we needed, the moment and momentum passed. I then led the successful turnaround of Russian hypermarket chain Lenta before joining Lloyds Pharmacy as MD. I think the healthcare sector has exciting times ahead, as healthcare economics the world over are under immense strain.”

How does the discounters’ success make you feel about Woolworths’ demise? “Inside Woolies, there was a significant and profitable national chain bursting to get out. Several factors at the time conspired against it, not least the global financial crisis and the general state of unease in the banking sector. In my view it could have been, with some considerable restructuring, a force to be reckoned with as a family value retailer. In many cases, it is still missed.”

Proudest achievement in grocery: “The huge team effort required to completely rebuild and relaunch the general merchandise proposition at Asda when we brought Walmart to the UK.”

Would you come back to the grocery sector? “Yes, of course, but I have found the stimulation and learnings gained since leaving the UK supermarket world invaluable.”

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