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Mar 22, 2021
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​Food for thought: M&S’s Machin in 'prime position' for Asda chief exec vacancy

Mar 22, 2021

Marks & Spencer food boss Stuart Machin is understood to be a front-runner to take up the vacant chief executive post at supermarket giant Asda, following the announced departure of Roger Burnley last week.


Burnley will leave the business next year after the US-owned chain was bought by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and their private equity partners TDR Capital. 

The Mail on Sunday cited City sources that said Machin and Morrisons' deputy chief exec Trevor Strain are 'top of the list' of candidates for the top Asda job. Sources also described both Machin and Strain as “highly ambitious" and “exceptionally capable”. If either of them takes over, it would put them in control of the giant George clothing label, as well as running a business that has huge beauty sales.

Machin, who was brought in to revitalise the Marks & Spencer food division, has been widely praised for overseeing the transition to grow its home delivery service with Ocado and improving M&S ranges, the newspaper report said. 

Last week, Asda announced that Burnley will leave only after his successor has been found. At the time he said: 'My decision to leave Asda is personal and something I wanted to communicate to my colleagues as soon as I could. Whilst I remain fully committed to leading this great business for the next year and delivering our strategy, it is right to plan for a managed succession process well in advance". 

In a combined statement, Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital added: “Roger and his team have protected and enhanced an exceptionally resilient business which we are proud to own”.

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