Andy Bond stepped down from his part-time role as Asda chairman this week, after less than a year.

He will continue as executive vice president of Walmart to finalise the retailer's takeover of Massmart in South Africa but will leave Walmart when the deal is completed at the end of March. Walmart bid SAR16.5bn (£1.5bn) for 51% of the shares of Massmart at the end of November, a deal unanimously recommended by Massmart's board.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart International, led the tributes to Bond. He described him as "a brilliant merchant, a strong leader and an effective manager. Most recently, he has been and will continue to be instrumental in our efforts to acquire a majority stake in Massmart," he said.

Bond was CEO of Asda for five years and worked there for 16 years. He stepped down in April and was replaced by Andy Clarke a month later. Clarke said Bond had provided a "smooth and seamless transition" and "Asda is what it is today, because of his leadership."

In an internal note to staff, Bond said: "Asda is, and will always be, a part of who I am. You'd expect me to say it's been a pleasure to work here and a real privilege to be CEO and it surely has. Deciding to move on to new challenges after 16 years is never an easy decision, but never more so than at a business like ours. The work we do to save people money is so much more than a slogan it's a worthwhile cause that powers our business."

Since stepping down as CEO, Bond has taken on a non-executive position at Wiggle, the online cycling retailer. He told The Grocer in November: "I want to avoid the word plural as that sounds like I want 10 jobs but to do no actual work. The truth is I want a more entrepreneurial lifestyle, to make a few investments and get my sleeves rolled up."

Executive development director Doug Gurr also left Asda this week. He will assist Bond with the Massmart deal and also leave Walmart in March to "pursue a new chapter in his career".