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Asda chief executive cites the growth of online as a key achievement as he announces his departure

Image courtesy of Asda

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley cited the supermarket’s achievements in developing its online infrastructure during his time at the helm of the supermarket as he announced his departure today.

The announcement from Burnley, who has been chief executive since January 2018, comes soon after new owners the Issa brothers and private equity company TDR Capital took over following their £6.8bn acquisition of the business. He will remain in charge for the next year while a successor is found. Asda was previously owned by Walmart. 

Burnley, who says his reasons for leaving are personal, today singled out the growth of the supermarket’s online operations among its achievements under his tenure.

He says: “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.

“We’ve grown a formidable online grocery operation that is on track to fulfil one million orders per week by the end of this year and continue to test our exciting new Asda on the Move format, which is bringing the Asda brand to more communities in more convenient ways.”

Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital said, together: “Roger and his team have protected and enhanced an exceptionally resilient business which we are proud to own. Roger will continue to lead Asda over the next year and deliver the strategy that he and his leadership team have set in motion, whilst at the same time working with us on identifying his successor.

“We are acutely aware of the responsibility we have in ensuring this great British brand continues to thrive for years to come – delivering great value products for customers, serving communities, and developing our colleagues.”

Since Covid-19 hit, the supermarket has expanded its online capacity by 90% since March to 850,000 delivery slots a week, and it expects to fulfil a million orders a week by the end of the year.

New plans to bring online fulfilment into stores at Asda have been introduced since the supermarket passed into new ownership. The move promises to create 4,500 new jobs – but puts 5,000 at risk.

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