// Asda hires former Tesco executive Ken Towle as its new retail director
// Towie joins from Nisa, which is part of the Co-op Group
// He has held responsibility for supplying over 4000 stores across Great Britain and Ireland
Asda has appointed former Tesco executive Ken Towle as its new retail director.
Towle will join the leadership team later in the year with responsibility for all Asda’s stores.
He joins from Nisa, which is part of the Co-op Group, and has held responsibility for supplying over 4000 stores across Great Britain and Ireland as chief executive since 2018.
Prior to Nisa, Towie spent 30 years with Tesco, where he worked in a variety of roles, including Stores Director, Operations Director for Home Office, chief executive for China and managing director for Central Europe, Ireland and Turkey as part of the Tesco Exec team.
“It’s an exciting time to be joining the Asda team and I am really looking forward to getting started later in the year,” Towle said.
Kris Comerford will also join Asda from Tesco, where he has most recently held the role of UK Commercial Director, Packaged Foods, Fuel and Tobacco.
Since joining Tesco in 2005, Comerford has held responsibility for a range of key categories within the supermarket’s commercial team before taking on the role of Customer Director in 2016.
He was then appointed Chief Commercial Officer for Tesco Lotus in Thailand before returning to the UK in December 2020.
Derek Lawlor, who has led Asda’s commercial team since 2019 has decided to leave the business after six years.
Comerford will join the business in late summer as Chief Commercial Officer, Food.
Simon Gregg, who currently leads Asda’s online operation, is joining the executive leadership team.
Liz Evans joined the executive leadership team this week as managing director, George, leading Asda’s fashion business.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who own Asda with TDR Capital Ltd, said: “Today we are confirming changes to the leadership of our business as we set ourselves up for the future.
“Regretfully, Derek Lawlor has decided to leave the business after six years, and he goes with our best wishes and thanks for the future. He has made a real and tangible difference to our business and we thank him for all he has done.
“We are delighted that we continue to attract such talent to our great business. Together, we will continue to put our customers at the heart of all our decision making and focus on delivering excellent service in what we know will be another challenging period for consumers.”
Asda chairman, Lord Stuart Rose said: “I would like to thank Derek for his immense contribution to Asda over the past six years and wish him well for the future.
“I am delighted that Ken, Kris and Simon are joining the leadership team at Asda, where their experience and passion for retail will further strengthen our great team as we continue to build on Asda’s long heritage of delivering affordable quality and championing our customers.”