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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 12:27 GMT
Asda appoints new chief executive
Andy Bond
Mr Bond oversaw the rise of Asda's clothing line
Asda's chief operating officer has become the supermarket giant's new chief executive.

Andy Bond's promotion follows the departure of Tony DeNunzio, who is leaving after 12 years to become chairman at Dutch retailer Vendex.

Mr DeNunzio was with Asda during the supermarket chain's years of market share expansion, leading to its takeover by US giant Wal-Mart.

Mr Bond had been widely tipped as the front runner for the top job.

The 40-year-old previously spent four years as head of the George clothing division, overseeing its rise to the UK's biggest-selling clothing brand by volume.

He joined the firm in 1994, and became chief operating officer in September after stints as marketing director and head of Asda's own label food division.

'Strong management'

"Asda has a deep and strong management team, and an equally strong culture," said John Menzer, chief of Wal-Mart International.

He was clearly being groomed for the succession, but obviously it's come a couple of years early
Nick Bubb, Evolution

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to appoint someone from inside the business."

Nick Bubb, analyst at brokers Evolution, said of the appointment: "He was very much the front-runner, did a good job at George and in non-food, which is where their future lies."

"He was clearly being groomed for the succession, but obviously it's come a couple of years early," Mr Bubb told Reuters.

Data from TNS showed Tesco's share of the UK supermarket sector last month had risen to 29.2%, with Asda's share slipping to 16.9%, from 17.1% in January.

Asda's focus on the low-cost sector has been coming under attack from Tesco while Sainsbury - with a 16% share of the market - is trying to turn itself around under the stewardship of new chief Justin King.

Asda's expansion plans have been stepped up, and the group recently opened its first non-food store and six clothing stores selling the George brand.

This year the group plans to open a further 18 traditional and non-food outlets and create 6,000 jobs.

Asda chief resigns after 12 years
11 Mar 05 |  Business
Asda set to create 6,000 new jobs
17 Feb 05 |  Business
Tesco 'to open non-food outlet'
16 Jan 05 |  Business
Tesco battling Asda in price war
21 Dec 04 |  Business

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