Asda boss to leave following £6.8bn takeover

Asda chief executive Roger Burnley

Roger Burnley, chief executive of Asda will step down following the supermarket’s £6.8bn sale to TDR Capital and Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the brothers behind forecourt and convenience shop business EG Group.

It has been confirmed that the retail boss will stay on until next year to allow a successor to be identified, with the departure described by people close to the situation as “amicable” and the chief executive describing the decision to leave as a “personal” one.

Burnley who is described on Asda’s corporate site as Yorkshire “born and bred” joined Asda as director of supply 1996. Following the US retail giant, Walmart’s purchase of Asda in 1999 he played an “instrumental role within the senior integration tram” splitting his time between the UK and Arkansas.

He subsequently left the supermarket and joined Matalan and then Sainsburys, where over ten years he held a number of board positions. Ten years after first joining Asda he returned, in 2016 as chief operating officer and deputy chief executive before taking the reins as president and CEO of the business in January 2018.

Over the intervening three year period, the chief executive has been involved in a number ownership talks by the the chain’s former owners, including the ill fated merger with Sainsbury’s that was halted by the CMA.

The supermarket’s announcement stated that Burnley had “decided to leave the business next year, after the supermarket had transitioned fully to new ownership”.

Burnley commented: “My decision to leave Asda is personal and something I wanted to communicate to my colleagues as soon as I could. Whilst I remain fully committed to leading this great business for the next year and delivering our strategy, it is right to plan for a managed succession process well in advance.

“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.”

He added that he had been “delighted” to be able to help identify the right partners for the next chapter of Asda’s journey, stating that the Issa brothers and TDR Capital have “real passion for this great business and great ideas to enhance its continued success”.

The bid by TDR Capital and the Issa brothers was announced in October last year, with the consortium currently working to secure approval fro the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is expected to order the sale of a small number of the supermarkets petrol stations to third parties as a way to address concerns over the Issa’s interests in that market.