Asda marketing director ousted

Asda’s marketing director Michael Fleming is leaving the company this week, just six months after taking up the post.

It is understood he is leaving because his role has increasingly been taken over by Asda’s hands-on chief executive Archie Norman, and deputy chief executive Allan Leighton.

Fleming was recruited from retail rival Somerfield after Leighton switched from the marketing director post last September.

Sources suggest that Norman and Leighton, who was keen to hang on to his marketing role, effectively left little room for Fleming.

Fleming was replaced as Somerfield’s marketing director by David Coles of Safeway. Somerfield offered Fleming a place on the main board to persuade him to stay. He was required to work a three-month notice for Somerfield and took up the Asda post in January.

Fleming was recruited to Somerfield by chief executive David Simons. The two worked together at BhS group Storehouse. Asda was unavailable for comment.

Asda claimed earlier this year that it had overtaken Safeway to become Britain’s third largest supermarket chain. Figures from AGB back up the claim.

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