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Asda retail boss Towle leaves after less than ten months

FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past the UK supermarket Asda in Leeds

LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarket group Asda said on Monday retail director Ken Towle is leaving the business less than ten months after starting the job.

Asda, owned since 2021 by brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity company TDR Capital, said the departure of Towle, who was responsible for the group's over 600 stores, was "mutually decided".

Britain's third largest grocer after market leader Tesco and Sainsbury's announced former Tesco director Towle's recruitment from convenience chain Nisa in January 2022 but he did not start the job until May.

Asda also said on Monday it had appointed Aldi UK veteran David Hills as its new chief customer officer.

Hills has been at the German-owned discounter since 2007 and is currently group director, marketing & communications.

Asda said acting chief customer officer, Sam Dickson, will continue in the role until Hills arrives later this year and will then assume a strategy role for the Asda and George brands.

Asda had a tough 2022 but in November reported a return to quarterly sales growth, while industry data has shown its sales growth matching that of Tesco and Sainsbury's.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Barbara Lewis)