Asda has reshaped its commercial food team following the departure of former executive Nick Jones to Joules.

Derek Lawlor, who was promoted to the role of senior vice president of food and general merchandise following Jones’ exit, has restructured the team under the edible and non-edible divisions.

Asda said the changes were designed to create a more “flexible” structure and allow for “quicker decision-making”.

Under the new structure, Lizzy Massey, Asda’s vice president of ambient grocery, will lead non-edible grocery. Tracy Ford, who is currently vice president for commercial execution, will take responsibility for edible grocery.

Asda’s vice president of own brand Paul Gillow will take on a broader remit including commercial strategy, and Richard Dent will take on the role of vice president of fresh and frozen, having held the position on an interim basis.

The reshuffle comes a month after Jones revealed he was leaving his role as vice president of general merchandise to take over as chief executive of Joules.

Lawlor’s role as boss of fresh trading was expanded to include responsibility food and general merchandise following Jones’ departure.

Asda said the structure of the general merchandise team will remain unchanged.

Post-CMA decision

Lawlor said: “These changes will give suppliers better direct access to senior leaders within the business, which will allow us to deepen relationships with our supply base for the benefit of customers by driving greater quality, value and innovation opportunities.

“By structuring our core business into non-edible and edible it means we’re able to benefit from the experience of two incredibly knowledgeable leaders in Lizzy and Tracy – to utilise their expertise in their own areas, while also working collaboratively to maximise shared opportunities.”

Asda is focusing on building sales momentum under boss Roger Burnley after its merger with big four rival Sainsbury’s was blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The watchdog said the combination could have led to higher prices and poorer product quality for shoppers in the longer term, despite insistence from the two grocers that they would slash prices by as much as 10%.

Uncertainty over Asda’s long-term future continues to hang over the business, however, after owner Walmart revealed it was mulling a move to float the supermarket chain.

The US titan’s international boss Judith McKenna told Asda staff last month that it was “seriously considering” an IPO in a bid to achieve “long-term success” for the grocer.