Andy Clarke, chief operating officer of grocer Asda, has been tipped to take over as chief executive.
Asda declined to comment today on whether Clarke was set to take over as chief executive but confirmed that the grocer’s chief merchandising officer Darren Blackhurst left this week.
Clarke had been a frontrunner to take over from chief executive Andy Bond, following the news last month that Bond was poised to step in to the role of chairman once a new chief executive was appointed. Clarke is thought to be very highly regarded at US parent company Walmart.
Other leading internal candidates finance director Judith McKenna and Walmart Canada boss David Cheesewright ruled themselves out of the running.
Blackhurst, who was also thought to be in the running for the chief executive position, is the second high profile retailer to have left his role following the decision to appoint a new chief executive. Yesterday, M&S finance chief Ian Dyson stepped down from his role, just one day after Marc Bolland joined as chief executive of the retail chain.