UK retailer Asda has appointed Steve Masters as property development director.

Masters will take over from Rob Swyer who is understood to be leaving Asda after ten years at the company.

Previously executive director for property and retailing services for First Quench Retailing, Masters will be responsible for all aspects of new store development and the management of Asda's existing store portfolio in the UK.

It is expected that he will join Asda in the autumn and will report into Asda's COO, Andy Clarke.

"Steve brings with him extensive knowledge of the property sector, which will strengthen the property and construction teams making sure we are best placed to continue to play a leading role in the property sector opening new space across the UK and improving our existing stores for all our customers," Clarke said.

He added: "Despite the economic climate, which has slowed down some areas of the property sector, Asda is actively seeking to expand our store base across the UK. We have recently acquired three stores from the Co-operative Group and will open eight new food stores and four Living stores in the remainder of this year, creating hundreds of new jobs."