Asda chief executive Andy Clarke – who began his career at the supermarket’s store at The Jewel in Edinburgh – has confirmed that he is preparing to step down from his role as sales at the Walmart-owned supermarket continue to flag.
Clarke said that he will be succeeded by incoming chief operating officer Roger Burnley, who will join the company in October, adding that the pair will at first spend time together before he hands over the reins. Clarke told trade magazine Retail Week: “I said that I wanted to find somebody who had the ability to be my successor and it took us some time to find the right person, the right cultural fit, the right sort of character and leader that can run the business. He’s a great leader and he’s going to be a great colleague.”
Asda is Scotland’s second biggest food retailer, with about 60 large stores and an 18 per cent market share.
The chain poached Burnley last year from rival Sainsbury’s, where he was retail and operations director. He also did a stint at Asda between 1996 and 2002, when he was supply chain director.
However, Clarke did not give a timeframe for his departure, adding: “I’m in no rush to do anything else and we are on a three-year journey from a strategic plan perspective. I’m very happy to deliver that and work through that and then we can talk about that from there.”
In May, Asda revealed another hefty sales slump as it reported the seventh consecutive quarter of sliding sales.