Billionaire Issa brothers appoint from M&S boss as new Asda chairman

Asda has today announced the appointment of former Marks & Spencer boss, Stuart Rose, as its first dedicated chairman in more than 20 years.

The supermarket group, which was bought by the billionaire Issa brothers and private equity backers TDR Capital for £6.8bn last year, has confirmed that Lord Rose will take up the role on 1 December.

The retailer has also appointed Dame Alison Carnwath, the former Land Securities chair, as a non-executive director.

The duo are both directors of Blackburn-headquartered EG Group, the petrol stations giant that is owned by Mohsin and Zuber.

Lord Rose has been a chair, board director and CEO of many of the UK’s biggest retailers, including Marks & Spencer, which he joined as a management trainee in 1972 and returned in 2004 as CEO and then went on to become executive chairman.

He has also held executive roles at the Burton Group, Argos, Booker and Arcadia.

Meanwhile, Dame Alison is a trained accountant who spent time in corporate finance for Lloyds and J Henry Schroder Wagg in New York.

She has held a number of board positions at Barclays, the Man Group, BP and Zurich Insurance Group.

Lord Rose will be Asda’s first dedicated chairman since the departure of Archie Norman who sold the supermarket to Walmart in 1999. Norman is now chair of Marks & Spencer.

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

“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.

“I am pleased to be joined on the Board by Dame Alison, who brings rigour and focus to everything she does – and look forward to confirming further non-executive appointments to our Board in the near future.

“We are both excited at the prospect of working with Mohsin and Zuber and the wider Asda team as they look to build on Asda’s strong heritage of delivering affordable quality across food, fashion and general merchandise – and of championing customers at every turn.

“The process to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer for Asda, who has the vision to take this great business forward over the coming years, is a priority for the Board and we will be supporting the shareholders in this process.”

Dame Alison said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of Asda as a non-executive director. Asda plays an important role in the daily lives of millions of consumers across the UK and I am looking forward to working with Lord Rose, Mohsin and Zuber Issa and the entire Asda team to support the business as it builds on strong foundations to drive growth.”

Mohsin and Zuber Issa added: “We are pleased to have Lord Rose and Dame Alison join the board of Asda. They have already provided invaluable support and wisdom to the board of EG Group, and we know their insight and experience will add huge value at Asda too.

“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 mark an important step forward in this ongoing process and we plan to appoint further independent non-executive directors in due course.”

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