Copy of Andrew Staniland

Staniland has been seen as a candidate for future CEO roles in the industry

Asda has continued its ongoing management shake up with the appointment of Andrew Staniland, group buying director at Iceland and The Food Warehouse.

Asda said Staniland – a highly regarded figure in the industry – would join Asda in a VP role next March.

Staniland joined Iceland in 2019 from Aldi, where he served as buying director for three years. Having begun his career as a buyer at Waitrose, he also did a stint as buying manager at Morrisons – and has carved out a reputation as a leading player in frozen food who is not afraid to rock the boat. He has been seen as a candidate for future CEO roles in the industry.

In 2020, he warned the frozen sector had become associated with “cheap, low-quality junk food” in a speech at the British Frozen Food Federation business conference.

Staniland is the second senior figure Asda has poached from Iceland within days, after the supermarket last week announced the appointment of its digital chief David Devany as its new vice president for e-commerce.

Asda announced a number of management changes on top of Staniland’s arrival, including the departure of chief transformation officer Mark Simpson, who is leaving the business “by mutual consent”. Simpson is an Asda veteran who has held a number of senior roles since joining the business in 1997.

It is understood the chief transformation officer role will no longer exist, and many of Simpson’s responsibilities will be taken on by former Morrisons chief information officer Matt Kelleher, who is to join Asda later this month.

Crucially, Kelleher will take on responsibility for the delivery of the notoriously tricky Future programme, which involves uncoupling Asda’s IT systems from former parent Walmart, with a year to go before the process is due to be completed.

Paul Gillow, vice-president and commercial director for food, is said to have decided the time is right for him to leave Asda after 21 years.

Asda said Gillow intended to spend time with his family before moving on to his next challenge.

In addition, Kevin McBride, vice president for retail north, is retiring after 27 years with Asda. He will leave at the end of August.