Asda to hire new chief executive following ‘reset’

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Mohsin Issa plans to step away from the day-to-day running of the business. Credit: Asda
Mohsin Issa plans to step away from the day-to-day running of the business. Credit: Asda

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Mohsin Issa has said that Asda will hire a new chief executive after he carries out a “reset” of the business.

In an interview with the BBC, Issa said that he remains “here for the long haul​” and is not planning on selling his stake. However, he wants to find a new chief executive to manage the day-to-day running of the business.

Mohsin and Zuber Issa purchased Asda in February 2021 along with TDR Capital for £6.8bn, and then completed the £2bn acquisition of EG Group in October 2023​.

As part of this move, they announced plans to convert 356 EG stores in the UK to the new Asda Express fascia, a process they expect to complete by the end of this month (March 2024). It was confirmed in February that Chris Walker would take over as managing director of the Asda Express arm of the company.

During the interview, Issa also said that Asda could account for 90% of its £4.9bn debt, explaining that “even if our interest payments were to double Asda has more than sufficient headroom to service that”​.

He continued: “We’re in a transition period where we’re evolving, but also we’re investing significantly. Market share will fluctuate over a period of time.

“We feel we’re doing the long term investment that will help us regain some of that market.”

Asked whether Asda was looking to make further acquisitions, Issa said that nothing was currently on the table, but cautioned “never say never​”.

He added: "When you're fortunate enough to see the opportunities and have the ability to execute them and be part of a plan and then move on to the next thing then that's something that I will always look to do. That's the entrepreneur. That's in your DNA​."

Food Manufacture has reached out to Asda for further details about its plans to recruit a new chief executive.

In other news, the board of UK logistics firm Wincanton has backed a £762m takeover bid from US business GXO.

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