First Bolland. Now Bond. Clearly there's something more than just volcanic dust in the air at the moment.

It's fair to say no-one saw the Asda boss's decision to vacate the hot seat coming. Not mere days after speculation the retailer was eyeing the acquisition of Argos, anyway. Or days before its big strategy update.

Speculation is rife as to why he has opted for "the elegant solution to the challenge Walmart and I have had", as he so enigmatically put it, and why now. Was it a bust up with Bentonville? Unhappiness with his pay packet? Or does he have something else lined up?

The fact he's leaving the post in not dissimilar circumstances to his predecessor Tony DeNunzio, just as Asda's market share has taken a knock, simply adds grist to the mill.

But suggestions of a falling out look as wide of the mark as predictions he'll be gone before Rose. Although the feeling is he's getting out while he's ahead, let's not forget he's still at the retailer and insisting he'll be around for a long time if his new role as part-time chairman works out.

Moreover, his relationship with Bentonville is evidently cosy enough for him to have been entrusted with the not insignificant responsibility of combining "an active role in the business" with a broader advisory role to Walmart on its international development plans.

There's also, of course, the small matter of choosing a successor. The big money seems to be on Judith McKenna and Andy Clarke. But let's just say a source very close to the situation believes the smart money should be on Dave Cheesewright, Bond's former right-hand man and current boss of Walmart's Canadian operation.

So on the grounds Asda could do with another double-act in the Leighton-Norman mould, that's where - gulp - we're putting ours.

Read more
Cheesewright tipped for top spot at Asda (17 April 2010)
It’s the end of an era at Asda - but the beginning of what? (17 April 2010)
Bond to step aside as Asda chief exec (12 April 2010)