Andy Bond, the former CEO of UK retailer Asda, has stepped down from his role as chairman of the supermarket group.

Bond took on the part-time role of chairman of Wal-Mart Stores’ UK arm in April last year after announcing he was stepping down as CEO. He now plans to focus on finalising Wal-Mart’s plans to buy a majority stake in South African retailer Massmart Holdings. Once the assignment is complete, which is expected by the end of March, Bond will leave Wal-Mart completely.

In an internal announcement today (4 January), Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s international arm, highlighted the “tremendous growth” at Asda during Bond’s five-year tenure as CEO and called him “a brilliant merchant, a strong leader and an effective manager and, most recently, has been and will continue to be instrumental in our efforts to acquire a majority stake in Massmart”.

Andy Clarke, Asda’s current CEO, added: “Asda is what it is today, because of his leadership.” He thanked Bond for making his transition into the CEO role “so smooth and seamless”.