Asda chief operating offer Mark Ibbotson is to join parent company Walmart’s flagship business in the US, where he will steer innovation.

Ibbotson, who has been with Asda since 2004, will become senior vice-president in charge of innovation at Walmart’s flagship US business.

Ibbotson has spearheaded a raft of changes at Asda as the grocer has adapted to changing shopping habits.

He expanded Asda’s online and click-and-collect operations, enabling it to tap more effectively into consumer demand for convenience.

He played a leading role in restructuring Asda to reflect the multichannel shift, an initiative that included 1,360 redundancies.

Grocery industry body IGD observed: “The new position as head of innovation is a fitting role for Ibbotson, who won the Sam Walton Entrepreneur award in 2013, reflecting his work on driving efficiency and building online.”

Ibbotson’s responsibilities at Asda have been split for the time being between chief executive Andy Clarke and head of people Hayley Tatum.