Asda brings in sweeping management changes

Asda chief executive Allan Leighton has introduced wide-ranging changes to the chain’s management board which have led to the resignation of commercial director Laurie Boyle and the sidelining of marketing director Gwynn Burr.

Burr has been handed the role of customer services director only one year into her job as marketing chief. She is being replaced by store development director Steven Cain, who is described as a “business school whizz-kid”.

He is Asda’s fourth marketing director in two years.

Leighton took over day-to-day running of the chain in August, after promotion from deputy to chief executive when Archie Norman was given the role of chairman (MW August 30 1996).

A spokeswoman says of Burr’s appointment: “We wanted a management position to drive the process of change, and Gwynn Burr is uniquely qualified to take on this key role.”

But one analyst says: “There are rumours that senior people are not happy at Asda. Now that Allan Leighton has taken over, people fear he is promoting his friends and sacking his enemies. There are revolving doors at Asda and the idea of sensitive management style is an illusion.”

Other changes include the departure of IT director Phil Langsdale, to be replaced by operations director Mike Coupe. Finance director Tony DeNunzio has been appointed business development director.

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