Asda CEO Roger Burnley to leave next year

Roger Burnley

Leeds-based Asda has announced that its CEO and President Roger Burnley “has decided to leave the business next year” after the supermarket has transitioned fully to its new ownership and once his long-term successor is in place.

“Having brought Asda back into British ownership, the Issa brothers and TDR Capital continue to be focused on supporting its leadership team to implement and accelerate Asda’s growth strategy over the next five years and beyond,” said Asda.

“A process will commence shortly to appoint a new CEO who is able to commit to leading the business over the long-term.”

Burnley, 54, has been CEO since January 2018, having joined the business in 2016 as deputy CEO.

Asda was owned until earlier this year by Walmart Inc., the world’s largest company by sales.

It is now majority owned by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, founders and co-CEOs of the Blackburn-based global convenience and forecourts retailer EG Group, and private equity firm TDR Capital.

Walmart retains an equity investment in Asda, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.

Privately-held EG Group was founded with a single petrol station in Bury as Euro Garages by the Issa brothers and has grown fast around the world through a series of debt-fueled deals.

TDR Capital bought a big stake in EG Group in 2016.

Burnley said: “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.

“I could not be prouder of our achievements during this time– which have seen us maintain our strong heritage as a value and values driven retailer, offering great products to our customers at consistently low prices as well as supporting our local communities.

“We have also developed our brand partnerships that mean we are an even more convenient place than ever to shop.

“We’ve grown a formidable online grocery operation that is on track to fulfil one million orders per week by the end of this year and continue to test our exciting new ‘Asda on the Move’ format, which is bringing the Asda brand to more communities in more convenient ways.

“We have supported our communities – both local and global – through our work to remove 9300 tonnes of plastic from our operations and donate over 100 million meals through our partnership with FareShare and Trussell Trust.

“And through the Covid 19 pandemic it has given me immense pride to be able to support over 200,000 vulnerable people with weekly home shopping deliveries as well as provide 250,000 masks for care workers and 7000 laptops for local schools.

“Most importantly, I have seen the pride on my colleagues faces at the recognition that the work they do really matters to society.

“And amongst all this, I’ve been delighted to work with Walmart as our parent and also to identify the right partners for the next chapter of Asda’s journey – Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital, who I know have both a real passion for this great business and great ideas to enhance its continued success.”

Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital jointly said: “Roger and his team have protected and enhanced an exceptionally resilient business which we are proud to own.

“Roger will continue to lead Asda over the next year and deliver the strategy that he and his leadership team have set in motion, whilst at the same time working with us on identifying his successor.

“We are acutely aware of the responsibility we have in ensuring this great British brand continues to thrive for years to come – delivering great value products for customers, serving communities, and developing our colleagues.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.