Andy Clarke is poised to replace Andy Bond as CEO of Asda following the shock resignation of Darren Blackhurst.

The departure of the chief merchandising officer comes as Asda experiences its worst trading in years, but he had been tipped as a strong internal candidate for the CEO role.

“With the pending change in CEO, we have had discussions about his future and he is taking some time out before ultimately pursuing his career elsewhere,” Bond told Asda staff this week. Blackhurst’s replacement would be announced in the next few weeks, he added.

“I’m very surprised he’s gone,” said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black. “He’s quite a loss. The amount of change taking place on the board at the moment is a cause for concern.”

Chief financial officer Judith McKenna and Walmart Canada president Dave Cheesewright are believed to have ruled themselves out of the race leaving chief operating officer Clarke the favourite to replace Bond.

The new CEO would be announced next week, Asda told The Grocer.

Read more
It’s the end of an era at Asda - but the beginning of what? (17 April 2010)
Cheesewright tipped for top spot at Asda (17 April 2010)
Editor’s Comment: The big money says McKenna or Clarke. The smart money says Cheesewright (17 April 2010)