Two EG Group board members to serve on Asda board; M&S ex-boss Lord Rose to be chairman

Stuart Rose, former chief executive of Marks & Spencer
Stuart Rose (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/File Photo)

Asda has announced the appointment of Lord Stuart Rose, former chief executive of Marks & Spencer as chairman.

The retailer also appointed Dame Alison Carnwath as a non-executive director. Both currently also serve on the board of EG Group, owned by the Issa brothers and investment firm TDR Capital who are also the owners of Asda, and will take charge at Asda from 1 December.

Lord Rose, who joined M&S as a management trainee in 1972, returned in 2004 as chief executive and then went on to become executive chairman. He also held executive roles at the Burton Group, Argos, Booker and Arcadia.

His non-executive career has spanned roles at Woolworth Holdings and more recently Ocado, where he spent seven years as Chairman between 2013-20.

“I am delighted to be appointed Chair of Asda, one of the biggest and best retail businesses in Britain. I am joining the Board at a hugely exciting time, as Asda builds on the incredible resilience it has demonstrated during the pandemic and embarks on the next chapter of its evolution and growth under new ownership,” Lord Rose said.

“I am pleased to be joined on the Board by Dame Alison, who brings rigour and focus to everything she does – and look forward to confirming further non-executive appointments to our Board in the near future.”

He added that the appointment of a new chief executive for Asda would be a priority for the Board. Asda has been without a CEO since Roger Burnley abruptly left the group in August.

Dame Alison has a strong track record as a non-executive director of some of the UK’s leading companies. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Peat Marwick Mitchell (now KPMG) and then worked in corporate finance for Lloyds and J. Henry Schroder Wagg in New York.

She has held a number of board positions at Barclays, the Man Group, BP and Zurich Insurance Group and has also been Chair of Vitec and Land Securities Group. Earlier this year, Dame Alison was appointed to the EG Group board and leads its Audit Committee.

Mohsin and Zuber Issa commented: “We are pleased to have Lord Rose and Dame Alison join the board of Asda. They have already provided invaluable support and wisdom to the board of EG Group, and we know their insight and experience will add huge value at Asda too.

“We are committed to ensuring this iconic business has the right governance and management framework in place to set it up for long-term success. The appointment of Lord Rose and Dame Alison mark an important step forward in this ongoing process and we plan to appoint further independent non-executive directors in due course.”

In September, the supermarket announced significant plans to expand in the convenience market by partnering with EG Group to launch 28 new Asda On the Move stores this year, up to 200 sites next year with the ambition to roll out further stores in 2023.