Issa brothers pick former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose to be Asda chairman
Former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose has been appointed chairman of Asda by the billionaire Issa brothers.
The 72-year-old will be joined in the supermarket chain’s boardroom by former Land Securities chairman Dame Alison Carnwath, 68, who becomes a non-executive director.
The appointments come as Mohsin and Zuber Issa seek to beef up the board after buying Asda from US giant Walmart for £6.8billion last year with the backing of private equity group TDR Capital.
Former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose has been appointed chairman of Asda as Mohsin and Zuber Issa seek to beef up the board after buying Asda from US giant Walmart last year
The Blackburn-based brothers said it was an ‘important step forward’ in their ownership of Asda.
But the appointments will spark speculation that the billionaire Issas could eventually merge Asda with their petrol forecourts business EG Group.
Rose is already chairman of EG while Dame Alison heads its audit committee. They will join the Asda board next month.
‘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,’ the Issas said.
The brothers have built EG from a single site in Bury to a giant with 6,000 petrol stations and 44,000 staff on three continents.
Rose, a Tory peer who was also chairman of Ocado between 2013 and 2020, said recruiting a new chief executive of Asda was a ‘priority’ following the departure of Roger Burnley in August.
He added: ‘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.’
Dame Alison said: ‘Asda plays an important role in the daily lives of millions of consumers across the UK.’