The UK's fifth largest supermarket retailer, Somerfield, has announced that company CEO Alan Smith is to step down and John von Spreckelsen is to take sole responsibility for leading the executive team. The directors and CEO have mutually concluded that this will provide greater clarity of leadership in the future. Smith has, accordingly, agreed to step down from his role as chief executive to pursue other long held business ambitions outside the group. The change, which is to take immediate effect, come only a few days after the company's finance director announced his decision to resign.