Asda has lost another top executive as new business director Arnu Misra exits the business.
Misra, a protégé of former boss of the grocer Allen Leighton, was tasked with reviewing Asda’s “new business strategy”, which includes its online, home shopping and financial services divisions.
The departure, revealed by The Times, is the fifth high-profile exit at the grocer in the past nine months.
Former chief operating officer Simon King, now boss at Wickes, left Asda after less than six months in the job and managing director of its non-food standalone, Roger McLaughlin, left to become the boss of Toys ‘R’ US in the UK.
Misra moved to Asda from Canadian supermarket Loblaw, which was once run by Leighton. The new business director, one of Retail Week’s Etail Power List’s ‘One’s to Watch’ last year, has overseen the grocer’s multichannel push.
The exit comes as Asda revealed it has struck a franchise deal with Lebanon-based Azadea Group to take its fashion label Asda George to the Middle East.
It has also partnered with SandpiperCI to open franchises in Guernsey and Jersey.
Last year, Asda announced its intention to establish a small number of pilot George stores and it is confident the shops will be open by the end of 2012.
George currently accounts for around half of Asda’s general merchandise sales and is already a growing global brand through Walmart stores in seven countries worldwide.
A team has been established at the George base in Lutterworth to establish, build and manage the franchise stores and develop these franchise partnerships.
George executive managing director Andrew Moore said: “Our international team will benefit from the vast franchise experience both companies have from the successful partnerships they operate with many other apparel brands.
“Customers globally, not just in the UK, are looking for the highest quality at the most affordable prices and that’s exactly what we will be offering customer across the Middle East and Channel Islands later this year.”