Asda has poached Lidl’s chief operating officer to head up its stores and distribution network, as it looks to further strengthen its senior management team.

Matt Heslop

Matt Heslop

The grocer has appointed Matt Heslop as its new chief operating officer, responsible for running its stores and depots operation, including the 470 c-store sites in its newly established Asda Express division.

Heslop has spent over 20 years with Lidl in various senior roles. Asda said Heslop’s experience in the convenience sector will prove “particularly important” for the grocer as it looks to accelerate its position in the £40bn UK c-store market.

The retailer said Matt Kelleher, who was announced as Asda’s new chief digital officer in January, will join the grocer in July to oversee its ecommerce and data functions.

Meanwhile, Asda announced that senior vice president of ecommerce and retail South, Simon Gregg, will be leaving the business in the summer.

Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said: “I’m delighted to announce Matt Heslop’s appointment to lead a critical part of our operation and drive the next stage of our growth journey.

“He is an experienced operator with a proven track record in managing substantial retail operations in a fast-growing company.

“Along with Matt Kelleher, who assumes the role of chief digital officer in July, these appointments further strengthen the leadership team as we continue to deliver against our strategy.”