Asda has appointed Simon King as its chief operating officer.

He is currently the chief executive of supermarket and hypermarket operator Panda Retail, a subsidiary of The Savola Group, based in Saudi Arabia. He was previously with both Tesco and Safeway. He starts on January 10.

Until 2009 he was chief executive of Tesco Kipa in Turkey and has had a long career with Tesco and Safeway. Prior to his role in Turkey, he also ran a number of Tesco’s international operations including South Korea in Asia and the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary in Eastern Europe.

At Asda, he will largely take up the brief vacated by Andy Clarke when he succeeded Andy Bond in May as president and CEO. This will include responsibility for all of retail, supply chain, including distribution, customer service and internal communications.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Simon to Asda,” said Andy Clarke. “In his career, he’s demonstrated his talents as both a strategic leader and a day-to-day operator in large complex retail businesses. I know he shares a commitment to people and delivering for customers. I’m looking forward to the contribution I know he’ll make here at Asda.”

Simon’s appointment completes the Asda executive management team following Andy Bond’s move to become part-time chairman of the Asda executive committee in April.

The move follows the appointment of Charles Redfield, senior vice president for food and beverage at Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, as its chief merchandising officer in August. He replaces Darren Blackhurst, who left earlier this year.