Asda rejigs its board in a bid to bump up growth

Asda has promoted Andy Bond to chief operating officer as part of a board reshuffle designed to drive growth at the Wal-Mart-owned chain.

Bond, who was promoted from George managing director to Asda trading director for general merchandise last year, is now number two to Asda president and chief executive Tony DeNunzio.

Bond's responsibilities now include retail and logistics, as well as the global George business and chairmanship of property division Gazeley. The promotion brings together retail and logistics functions that were previously managed separately.

In an internal announcement, DeNunzio said: 'Joining our retail and logistics functions will improve our ability to deliver world-class availability at the lowest costs. Asda is an integrated supply chain business and it's important we have a factory-to-checkout view of service levels and costs.'

Tony Page, previously regional managing director for the North, has joined Asda's executive board as non-food director. He is responsible for George in the UK, general merchandise and new business areas. Asda logistics director David Cheesewright has been appointed chief operating officer of Wal-Mart in Canada, and Asda retail director David Downie has replaced Cheesewright.

Separately, Asda's sales growth has fallen below the industry average, according to TNS figures cited in a note by broker Citigroup Smith Barney.

Asda's implied growth for the four weeks to July 18 was 4.4 per cent, while the industry average was 4.9 per cent. An Asda spokesman blamed the dip on tough comparisons against last July, when Asda overtook Sainsbury's to become the UK's number two grocer.