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Asda finance chief quits, replaced by former Morrisons CFO

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By Reuters
Asda finance chief resigns after less than a year in the job - source
Asda finance chief resigns after less than a year in the job - source   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

By James Davey

-The finance chief of British supermarket group Asda has resigned after less than a year in the job and is being replaced by his counterpart at rival Morrisons, Asda said on Thursday.

Asda, Britain’s third-largest grocer, said chief financial officer John Fallon, who was promoted to the role last June, had decided to leave the business and “take on new challenges”.

He would be succeeded by Michael Gleeson, who last month said he was stepping down from the same role at Morrisons, the No. 4 player.

Gleeson would not join the business until next year, Asda added.

In the meantime Steven Nuttall, vice president commercial finance, would take on some extra responsibility in the day-to-day running of the finance function.

Fallon’s departure is the latest in a raft of senior exits from Asda since it was purchased in February 2021 by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity company TDR Capital in a 6.8 billion pound ($8.9 billion) deal.

Asda has been without a CEO since Roger Burnley abruptly left the group in August. Four months ago new chairman Stuart Rose said appointing one was a priority.

In January, Asda said Derek Lawlor, who had led its commercial team since 2019, had left the business. His exit followed that of chief operating officer Anthony Hemmerdinger and chief strategy officer Preyash Thakrar last September.

Last month Asda said it was targeting regaining its status as Britain’s No. 2 supermarket group as it reported a 42% jump in 2021 operating profit and launched a new value range for cash-strapped shoppers.

However, monthly industry data has shown Asda underperforming industry leader Tesco and current No. 2 player Sainsbury’s.

($1 = 0.7648 pound)