Wal-Mart's Asda Names Clarke to Succeed Bond as Chief Executive Officer

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s U.K. supermarket chain Asda said Chief Operating Officer Andy Clarke will succeed Andy Bond as chief executive officer.

Clarke, 46, will start his new role as CEO and president “immediately,” Asda said today in a statement. Bond, who spent five years running the U.K.’s second-biggest supermarket chain, announced last month that he planned to step down as CEO and become part-time chairman of Asda’s executive committee.

Clarke takes over as the grocery chain loses market share to rivals such as Tesco Plc and J Sainsbury Plc. Asda last month began offering a “price guarantee,” matching the cost of goods at its rivals. The grocer also flagged plans to become the biggest non-food retailer in the U.K. by opening more Living stores, which sell electronics, home products and clothing.

Clarke worked at Asda for nine years before leaving to join Matalan Ltd., the U.K. discount-clothing retailer, in 2001. He later worked for Iceland Foods Ltd., the frozen food retailer, before rejoining Asda in September 2005.

“He was clearly the right choice from the internal and external candidates we considered,” Bond said in the statement. “I’m looking forward to doing everything I can to ensure a smooth transition for Andy in his new role.”

Asda’s share of grocery sales fell to 16.9 percent in the 12 weeks ended April 18 from 17 percent a year earlier, according to Kantar Worldpanel, a market-research firm.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net.

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