Asda appoints new chief operating officer

Asda has announced that its finance director, Judith McKenna, will take over as chief operating officer (COO) in September.

McKenna, who has been with the supermarket for 15 years, will take on the leadership of the entire retail operation, assuming responsibility for its stores, distribution network and IT systems.

Asda president and chief executive offier Andy Clarke said: I am delighted that Judith McKenna is to become our chief operating officer.

In the last year alone, her work leading the Netto acquisition and integration programme - which is reinventing our retail future - demonstrates that shes the natural choice for this role.

She also represents someone who lives Asdas culture everyday. Her understanding of our business, her passion for people development, her down-to-earth style and ability to get things done, will all contribute to ensuring she is a great COO.

McKenna joined Asda from financial roles in the brewing and pub retailing industry, after qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG in London. She is currently chairman of the CBIs distributive trades panel.

Analysts have responded positively to the news, saying that Mckenna is experienced, disciplined and has an excellent understanding of retail strategy.

Dave McCarthy and Andrew Porteous of Evolution Securities said: This is a good move by Asda Wal-Mart and will help bring stability to the company in a difficult time for the industry.