Ex-Asda chief takes on Tesco role

By David Benady

Tesco has hired former Asda marketing director Michael Fleming as its director of business development.

The chain has drafted in Fleming to look at acquisitions and new business opportunities, an area of increasing importance for Tesco. The supermarket multiple has recently been linked to the purchase of the Oddbins wine merchants chain, and to supermarket acquisitions in France and Eastern Europe.

Fleming was ousted from Asda last July, after only six months as marketing director (MW July 21 1995). He had joined Asda in January 1995 from supermarket chain Somerfield, where he was also marketing director.

Asda’s official reason for Fleming’s departure was that he didn’t like living in Leeds, the home of Asda’s head office, and had failed to adjust to life in the North.

But some observers said that Fleming felt he had too little power over Asda’s marketing, which was firmly under the control of chief executive Archie Norman. Others said he lacked marketing experience, having come from a corporate finance background.

Cover Story, page 40

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