Walmart announces senior management changes at Asda

Walmart has announced a series of leadership moves in its International division including Asda in the UK.

Andy Clarke, president and chief executive officer at supermarket chain Asda, has decided ‘the timing is right to step aside from his role with the company’.

Walmart said: ‘With over more than 20 years with Asda, and the last six as ceo, Andy has been a key contributor to our success in the UK: one of the world’s most competitive retail markets.

‘Andy and his leadership team have played a key role in several innovations in the marketplace, such as grocery home delivery and pick-up. He has also served as a strong leader for the business during a time of increased competition and heightened customer expectations.’

Andy will remain with the business until the end of July, at which point he will serve as an advisor for the remainder of 2016. He will also retain his role as Asda’s representative in certain functions, namely as president of the IGD, a research and training charity which provides information and best practice to the global food and grocery industry.

With Andy’s departure, Sean Clarke will return to Asda, as president and chief executive officer, on July 11.

Most recently, Sean served in the same role with Walmart China, He is one of Walmart’s most experienced executives, with a career that includes extensive experience abroad including Walmart Japan, Walmart Canada. He started his retail career in the UK at Asda back in 2001.

Walmart also confirmed that Roger Burnley will be named deputy ceo and chief operating officer, Asda when he rejoins the business in October.

The company said: ‘Roger will be a strong support to Sean Clarke, having held a variety of senior leadership positions across commercial and operational functions of UK retail businesses. He worked at Asda between 1996 and 2002 and was part of the core team responsible for integrating Asda into Walmart following its acquisition in 1999.’

David Cheesewright, president and ceo of Walmart International, said: “Actively managing our global business portfolio is a key element of our international strategy, and we must have the right talent in place to lead our businesses through times of change.

“Sean is one of our most experienced global executives, and through his leadership we will build upon the momentum of Project Renewal to reposition Asda in a very competitive marketplace. I’m also excited about Roger coming back to Asda, as we view him as a top talent and a future ceo.

“Together with the existing Asda executive team, Sean and Roger will serve as an incredibly powerful team to lead our Asda business. Their complementary skills and combined expertise in the UK retail market and globally brings an unrivalled breadth of retail knowledge to Asda.”

Commenting on the news, Sean Clarke said: “Rejoining Asda at such a critical point in the development of the UK retail market is both a challenge and a privilege. After spending the last 15 years in Walmart’s global retail markets, I’m looking forward to returning to the business that got me hooked on grocery retail.”

Roger Burnley added: “Asda is a business I know well, and one I’m excited to rejoin at a critical time in its history. I’ve always admired Asda’s passionate colleagues, relentless focus on the customer and its ability to reposition itself in a crowded marketplace. Being part of the world’s largest retailer also presents a huge personal opportunity to work alongside world-class talent, including Sean. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

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