With a retailer as big as Walmart, it should be understandable that the makeup of their executives changes every few years, or at least as often as their international priorities do. And now that Walmart's UK business needs a kick in the pants, there have been some moves to bring its leadership more in line with a new vision.
Walmart announced Monday (June 13) that Andy Clarke, head of its UK-based Asda supermarket chain, was being replaced effective July 11 by Sean Clarke (no relation) who is CEO of Walmart's China operations. Andy Clarke had been with Walmart and Asda for more than 20 years, and the other Clarke's appointment signifies a new direction for the brand's UK grocery business considering the experience its new head has working in a boom market.
David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International, praised Sean Clarke's potential to change its future in the UK.
“Actively managing our global business portfolio is a key element of our international strategy, and we must have the right talent in place to lead our businesses through times of change," Cheesewright said in a statement. “Sean is one of our most experienced global executives, and through his leadership we will build upon the momentum of Project Renewal to reposition Asda in a very competitive market place."
According to some, like Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Richard Clarke (again, no relation), the departing Clarke shouldn't have found this as any particular surprise.