Australian retail group Woolworths is expected to announce the appointment of its new CEO next week, according to reports.

Indications from the office of chairman James Strong suggested the announcement of Roger Corbett’s successor would be made next week once the board had completed all the formalities surrounding the appointment.

Corbett, who is to step down in September, said in March that his successor could be named as early as May in order to allow for a smooth transition.

As yet, there is no clear indication who the successful candidate might be. Michael Luscombe, who heads up Woolworths’ supermarkets division, is viewed as the strongest in-house contender and is viewed by some analysts as the overall front-runner.

Mark McInnes, CEO of David Jones, has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Corbett, while some observers expect the appointment of someone from outside Australia, with senior executives from Tesco , Sainsbury and Wal-Mart all being touted as possible candidates for the post.