Asda promotes CMO Stephen Smith to chief customer officer

Asda has promoted its chief marketing officer Stephen Smith to the newly created role of chief customer officer as part of a reorganisation of the retailer’s executive team.

Asda makes Steve Smith chief customer office as it adds format development to his remit.

In his new role, Smith will continue to be responsible for marketing but will also take on responsibility for format development. He is taking over from Karen Hubbard, who is leaving Asda as her role as executive property director will no longer exist, with her property responsibilities being folded into the finance division.

Andy Clarke, Asda chief executive, says the changes will allow “store look and feel to be owned in one place”.

“The movement of ‘format development’ accountabilities across to ‘customer and marketing’ will enable us to move closer to being a truly customer centric omni-channel business, in which all growth strategy and proposition-related decisions will be made with the customer at heart,” he adds.

The changes, which take effect from 7 April, are aimed at ensuring Asda is “fit for future” and can make decisions faster in order to keep up with changes in the grocery market. Asda is also making around 200 staff at its head office and George HQ redundant.

An Asda spokesperson says the reorganisation is aimed at “simplifying processes” and making the business run more efficiently, making sure that ”marketers market and buyers buy”.

The reshuffle will also see Asda food brand director Adrian Mckeon leave Asda at the end of April for “personal reasons”. His role has been split into two parts, with marketing aspects such as packaging and on-shelf look and feel coming into the marketing function under the direction of Smith and marketing director Chris McDonough. 

Food product development, quality, price and sourcing will be rolled into the food merchandising team, led by chief merchandising officer Barry Williams.

Clarke says the reorganisation is aimed at creating fewer, bigger roles across all levels of the business. The changes are expected to result in “multimillion pound savings” for the retailer.

Click here to read Marketing Week’s profile interview with Asda’s Stephen Smith.

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