A lifelong Huddersfield Town fan has been appointed chief executive of Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda.
Roger Burnley, 51, will take on the role of Asda’s president and chief executive officer from January 1, the company announced yesterday.
The father-of-two is currently Asda’s deputy chief executive, having re-joined the company from rival Sainsbury’s a year ago.
Mr Burnley had previously worked for Asda, the UK’s number four supermarket, between 1996 and 2002.
Asda’s current chief executive, Sean Clarke, will leave his post at the end of the year after 18 months in the role.
Mr Burnley began his retail career as a graduate at B&Q and has previously worked for Matalan and Sainsbury’s.
As well as being a keen cyclist, runner, snowboarder, sailor and fly fisher, he is also a lifelong Town fan and sits on the club’s board as a non-executive director.
On his appointment to the role in 2015, Town chairman Dean Hoyle said: “I am delighted Roger has joined us. We couldn’t have got anybody with a better pedigree and credentials and he’s a Town fan too.
“Adding Roger to the club further strengthens the board. I am looking forward to working with him. I’m sure he can add a lot and make us better.”
Originally from Dewsbury , Mr Burnley attended Heckmondwike Grammar School and Bournemouth University.
Dave Cheesewright, chief executive of parent company Walmart, said: “Roger was purposefully brought back to Asda to partner with Sean ahead of the transition to Roger taking up the position of CEO. He and Sean have worked as a great team and I’m really confident in Roger’s ability to continue building upon our returning momentum.
“After more than 21 years with the company, Sean has worked across five international markets including serving as President and CEO of Walmart China and obviously here in the UK too. He’s continually shown the ability to lead critical transformation and the last 15 months are no exception. Sean will continue to lead Asda until the end of December after which he’s taking some time out and will then remain engaged with Walmart.”
Mr Burnley said: “Asda is a great business and we’ve started to realise its potential again.
“Sean’s focus on serving customers and simplifying the business has established a firm foundation on which we can build. Since I returned to Asda last year I have been encouraged by the passion and professionalism of our colleagues and look forward to leading this terrific team.”
Sean said: “Asda is moving in the right direction but there is still much more for us to do. I am excited to see the momentum continue under Roger’s leadership. Walmart has given me and my family some great opportunities. I am looking forward to taking some time out but I will always stay connected to the company.”