The past year has seen a pretty remarkable turnover at the top end of the trade.

There have been wholesale changes to the top brass of several major retailers – with Spar and Musgrave the most recent additions to a list that includes M&S, Morrisons and Tesco.

Asda has seen more changes than most. And the Leeds chain was at it again today, this time announcing the departure of well-liked executive director Doug Gurr.

His exit is no surprise considering the imminent arrival of Simon King, the new chief operating officer who slips into Andy Clarke’s old loafers after the festive break.

Most of Doug’s duties will go to King, while chief financial officer Judith McKenna consolidates her power base by taking on Gurr’s retail development role.

Alongside former Sam’s Club man Charles Redfield, Asda’s new merchandising chief, that’s the top-level team that will take on Richard Brasher’s increasingly bullish Tesco. The UK’s largest supermarket today announced what it called “solid” like-for-like growth of 1.5% for the third quarter – and was talking up its chances of a bumper final period.

Gurr, meanwhile, is off to South Africa to help out on the Massmart deal. That’s currently being overseen by Andy Bond – whose own move from chief executive to chairman kicked off the managerial merry-go-round in the first place.

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