Asda chief to step down as takeover rumours sweep City

ANDY Bond is stepping down as chief executive of Asda in a shock move ahead of his unveiling of the company’s five-year strategy plan.

Bond is stepping into a new role of chairman on the board of Asda – a subsidiary of US retail giant Walmart – the firm said yesterday.

The role will start off as full-time to help a smooth transition to a new chief executive but then be scaled back to part-time to allow Bond to pursue other interests.

Bond, who has been chief executive for five years, will update the market on the firm’s performance and its strategy on Thursday.

The announcement of his move also came amid market speculation that Asda was poised to make a takeover approach to Argos and Homebase owner Home Retail Group.

Asda has declined to comment on the rumours.

Home Retail Group shares closed up five per cent at 294p, fuelled by the market whispers.

Bond said: “I’m very proud to have led Asda for the past five years and helped it find a new confidence to serve its customers better. We have a strong leadership team that’s fully engaged in the business.”