Rick Bendel
Rick Bendel

Bendel will now take on a new project-based worldwide marketing role within Walmart.

Smith, who joined Walmart in July last year, is currently chief marketing officer for the chain’s operations in China. He will take over the international CMO role with full responsibility for Asda marketing in the UK. He will join Asda’s executive committee in May.

He has previously held senior marketing and merchandising roles at grocery retail chain Delhaize Group in North America and Belgium. He has also held marketing and advertising roles at telecoms firm AT&T, outdoor-sports media agency Resort Sports Network and ad agency JWT.

Smith is also the co-chair of the marketing committee of The Consumer Goods Forum, and international trade group of retailers and food manufacturers.

Asda president and CEO Andy Clarke says Smith will be a “valuable addition to the Asda executive team”.

He said: “Few people in the history of our business have loved and understood Asda as well as Rick. His empathy for customers is equalled only by his advocacy for colleagues, and his ability to bring that alive through story-telling will be legendary for generations to come.”