Bond will help choose the next Asda CEO

Bond will help choose the next Asda CEO

Andy Bond, who shocked the UK retail scene on Monday (12 April) when he announced he would step down as CEO of Asda, today dismissed suggestions that he was pushed out by parent Wal-Mart.

Earlier this week, in a surprise announcement, Bond announced that he would end his tenure as Asda's chief executive.

Bond has taken a newly-created role at Asda of chairman of the retailer's executive committee.

The news prompted commentators to wonder if Wal-Mart had forced Bond from the helm at Asda, especially as the retailer's sales had slowed in recent months and its growth had slipped behind its local competitors.

However, speaking at an investor meeting at Asda's HQ in Leeds today, Bond insisted he had decided to step down after five years at the helm after considering his and the company's future.

"This is my decision," Bond said. "It's as simple as the fact that I've been as Asda for 16 years, I've been CEO for five years. We've been discussing for some time what our next step was ... we've created what I think is a solution for everyone."

Bond emphasised that, in his new role, he was looking forward to helping the company find his successor. "I will be part of the process to recruit and induct a new CEO. It is somewhat my obligation that there is a smooth transition to a new CEO. I don't want to be the guy who runs off when trading is not as good as I want it to be."

Wal-Mart CFO Tom Schoewe, who kicked off the Asda investor meeting, echoed Bond's words and backed the former Asda CEO in his new job at the business.

"It was his decision. He decided it was time for a change," Schoewe said. "This is a new role and it is a very, very important role and it speaks to how highly Andy regards the organisation."

At the meeting, Asda outlined plans to boost its food business with the opening of 100 small supermarkets over the next five years.