Asda chief executive Andy Clarke is to step down in July, with the supermarket group’s US owner Walmart drafting in the head of its Chinese operations to lead the British company.
Sean Clarke, who has held top roles for Walmart in Japan and Canada, will become Asda’s chief executive on 11 July.
The move came as a surprise, as Clarke suggested to trade magazine Retail Week last week that he would be succeeded by incoming chief operating officer Roger Burnley after an unspecified handover period.
However, Walmart said yesterday that Burnley will instead become deputy chief executive and chief operating officer, and that Clarke will leave the company at the end of July, after which he will be an adviser until the end of the year.
Clarke has been chief executive of Asda, Scotland’s second-biggest food retailer, for six years, and leaves a group struggling after seven consecutive quarter of falling sales.