Press Centre

Asda appoints Stephen Smith as new chief marketing officer

Asda today, 19 March, announced the appointment of Stephen Smith as its new chief marketing officer, replacing Rick Bendel who has accepted the challenge of a new worldwide marketing role for Walmart.

Steve, 41, joined Walmart in July 2011 and is currently chief marketing officer in China. Prior to his current role, Steve spent ten years working in marketing and merchandising roles in grocery retail with Delhaize Group in North America and Belgium. He has also had marketing and advertising roles at AT&T, outdoor-sports media agency Resort Sports Network and J. Walter Thompson.

Steve will join Asda’s executive committee in May.

Asda President and CEO Andy Clarke said:

“I was delighted that Steve joined Walmart last year and will now bring his retail marketing pedigree to the UK. I’ve been an admirer of Steve’s work at overseas Delhaize retail brands such as Sweetbay, Hannaford and Delhaize Le Lion, for many years and I’m certain he’ll be a valuable addition to the Asda executive team”.

Steve’s predecessor, Rick Bendel will be taking on a broader project-based role for Walmart – a natural next step following three years as International CMO for Walmart, helping build Walmart’s global marketing efforts alongside his leadership of the Asda marketing role.

Andy Clarke, in a note to colleagues wished Rick well:

“Because this is a time of strength for Asda, it now seems the perfect time for Rick to do more to help shape Walmart’s worldwide marketing efforts and embark on the next exciting phase of his career.

“Few people in the history of our business have loved and understood Asda as well as Rick. His empathy for customers is equalled only by his advocacy for colleagues, and his ability to bring that alive through story-telling will be legendary for generations to come.”

Asda will use some of the time that Rick isn’t setting aside for international projects, to ensure a seamless handover to Steve as he transfers from China.

Posted in Press Centre on 19 March 2012