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Asda appoints former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose as chair

By Huw Hughes

Nov. 24, 2021

People

Image: Asda

British supermarket chain Asda has named Lord Stuart Rose, the former CEO and chairman of rival Marks & Spencer, as its new chair, effective December 1.

A retail veteran, Rose was appointed as chief of Marks & Spencer in 2004 and then went on to become executive chairman in 2008.

He’s also held a number of executive roles at other big-name British retailers, including Burton Group, Arcadia and Argos.

“I am delighted to be appointed chair of Asda, one of the biggest and best retail businesses in Britain,” Rose said in a statement.

In February, Asda was bought by billionaire brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital from Walmart for 6.8 billion pounds.

Rose is currently the chairman of EG Group, which is also owned by TDR Capital.

He said: “I am joining the board at a hugely exciting time, as Asda builds on the incredible resilience it has demonstrated during the pandemic and embarks on the next chapter of its evolution and growth under new ownership.”

Search for new Asda CEO a board priority

Following Asda’s acquisition, it was announced that then-CEO Roger Burnley would be exiting the company. It was planned that he wouldn’t leave the business until 2021, once a long-term successor was in place, but in August he made a surprise exit, six months ahead of schedule.

Rose said a priority of the board is to appoint a new Asda CEO, “to take this great business forward over the coming years”.

Asda also announced Wednesday the appointment of Dame Alison Carnwath as a non-executive director, also effective December 1.

Carnwath has held a number of board positions at Barclays, the Man Group, BP and Zurich Insurance Group and was also chair of Vitec and Land Securities Group.

Earlier this year, she was appointed to the EG Group board and leads its Audit Committee.

Asda co-owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa said: “We are committed to ensuring this iconic business has the right governance and management framework in place to set it up for long-term success.

“The appointment of Lord Rose and Dame Alison marks an important step forward in this ongoing process and we plan to appoint further independent non-executive directors in due course.”