Asda is to fill the hole left by former chief merchandising officer Darren Blackhurst with Charles Redfield, senior vice president for food & beverage at Sam's Club.

Redfield has more than 20 years experience with the Walmart subsidiary and will start his new role next month.

Announcing the appointment Asda CEO Andy Clarke told staff at Asda House in Leeds that Redfield would play a key role in leveraging Asda’s relationship with Walmart in terms of global sourcing opportunities to become the clear leader in non-food in the UK and a clear number two in food.

“I'm looking to Charles to lead these efforts and make a real and lasting strategic impact here in Asda,” said Clarke.

“As a member of the leadership team at Sam's Club, he comes from a business that's similar in size to Asda, but more importantly, his reputation as a builder of talented teams and his commitment to what's best in our culture will ensure he can make a positive difference.

"I also believe that Charles' move sends an important signal about our maturing relationship with Walmart. As we told analysts earlier in the year, whether it's products, prices or people, I'm looking for us to move faster to leverage our unique partnership with Walmart to make us an even better company for British shoppers.”

Blackhurst left Asda in May after being passed over in his bid to replace Andy Bond as CEO.