Asda confirms major changes to senior team as McKenna moves to Walmart

Date : 11 January 2013

Promotion for Asda COO

Judith McKenna is to leave her position as COO at Asda to take up a new role at Walmart International as executive vice president, strategy and international development. Linked to this move there will be a major reshuffle of Asda's senior team, with all changes taking effect from January 28th.

The move to Bentonville is a further promotion for McKenna who became Asda COO in July 2011 after 10 years as CFO. McKenna is widely recognised for her ability to get things done in a down to earth manner, and has a strong track record for people development. This is evident from her drive to restructure her team to help Asda achieve its ambition of being a truly multi-format, multi-channel operator. McKenna was also the architect of Asda's purchase of Netto's UK stores and their relaunch under the Asda Supermarket format banner.

At Walmart International, McKenna will lead several areas including real estate strategy, M&A and integration, and she will also work closely with Walmart's Leverage and Global eCommerce teams. McKenna will report directly to Doug McMillon CEO and President of Walmart International.

"Our loss is Walmart's gain"

Commenting on the move Asda CEO Andy Clarke said “Judith has given me a huge amount of support over the last two-and-a-half years. It goes without saying she will be sorely missed by us all but our loss is most certainly Walmart’s gain.” He added "This is great news for Judith but also another example of Asda exporting talented leaders to play key roles across the world for Walmart. We are a global centre of excellence and Judith joins a growing list of Asda colleagues who have chosen to develop their careers internationally."

Mark Ibbotson to become retail director

While McKenna will not be directly replaced, Mark Ibbotson who was promoted to retail operations director by McKenna will join Asda's executive team as retail director at the end of this month. He has a reputation as an innovator having led the 'We Operate for Less' programme and been a key figure in Asda's drive to build its home shopping business.

Expanded remit for Karen Hubbard

Responsibility for multichannel strategy and Asda Direct will pass to Karen Hubbard, at present responsible for in-store proposition. Commenting on this move Andy Clarke said: This strategic realignment of how we plan and utilise both our existing and our new space will become increasingly important as multichannel becomes the growth engine of the future. It makes logical sense for Asda Direct and multichannel strategy therefore to sit with retail development and in-store proposition. Karen has a track record of creating innovative retail formats and in my view there is no-one better placed than her to lead that charge.”

Increased responsibilities for Steve Smith

Chief marketing officer Steve Smith will take on responsibility for Asda's financial services to build the business further. Smith joined Asda in March 2012 from Walmart following Rick Bendel's move to the US.

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