Asda chief executive to step down following billion-pound buyout

Asda’s chief executive has said he will step down next year following a billion-pound buyout of the firm.

Roger Burnley said he will leave the supermarket chain after it has “transitioned fully to new ownership” under the Issa brothers, who won the £6.8 billion takeover battle for the business last year.

Mr Burnley, 54, has been chief executive since January 2018, having joined the company in 2016 as deputy chief executive.

He said he remains “fully committed” to leading the business for the next year but wanted “to plan for a managed succession process well in advance”.

Mr Burnley said: “My decision to leave Asda is personal and something I wanted to communicate to my colleagues as soon as I could.

“It has been a great privilege to play a leading role at Asda over the last five years – putting in place a clear strategy for long-term sustainable growth and doing the right things for our customers, colleagues and the communities we serve.

“I could not be prouder of our achievements during this time – which have seen us maintain our strong heritage as a value and values-driven retailer, offering great products to our customers at consistently low prices as well as supporting our local communities.

“We have also developed our brand partnerships that mean we are an even more convenient place than ever to shop.”

Walmart, the supermarket chain’s US owner, accepted a bid led by Lancashire brothers and petrol station tycoons Mohsin and Zuber Issa in October, following a lengthy auction process.

The Blackburn-based EG Group, formerly known as Euro Garages, already runs forecourt convenience stores for Spar and French hypermarket chain Carrefour.

After 21 years at the helm of the retailer, Walmart will retain a minority stake in Asda as part of the agreement.

The new owners have committed to keeping Asda’s headquarters in Leeds and said they will invest more than £1 billion in the supermarket over the next three years to grow its convenience and online operations while keeping prices low.

This year, the supermarket announced that 3,000 office store worker jobs were at risk due to a restructuring driven by the shift towards online grocery shopping during the pandemic.

But the firm said it planned to re-hire staff hit by potential cuts in 4,500 new openings in online operation roles.

Richmond and Twickenham Times | UK News