Issa brothers choose former M&S boss Stuart Rose as Asda chairman

Issa brothers choose former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose as Asda chairman

Former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose has been named chairman of Asda by the billionaire Issa brothers.

The 72-year-old will be joined in the boardroom of the supermarket chain by former Land Securities chairman Dame Alison Carnwath, 68, who will become a non-executive director.

The appointments come as Mohsin and Zuber Issa look to strengthen the board after they bought Asda from US giant Walmart last year for £6.8bn with the backing of private equity group TDR Capital.

Former Marks & Spencer boss Stuart Rose has been named chairman of Asda, while Mohsin and Zuber Issa are looking to join the board after buying Asda from US giant Walmart last year.

The Blackburn brothers said it was a “major step forward” in their Asda ownership.

But the appointments will spark speculation that billionaire Issas could eventually merge Asda with their gas station EG Group.

Rose already chairs EG, while Dame Alison heads the audit committee. They will join Asda’s board next month.

“They have already provided invaluable support and wisdom to the board of EG Group, and we know that their insight and experience will be of great value to Asda as well,” said de Issas.

The brothers have expanded EG from a single location in Bury into a giant with 6,000 service stations and 44,000 employees on three continents.

Rose, a Tory colleague who also served as chairman of Ocado between 2013 and 2020, said hiring a new Asda CEO was a “priority” following Roger Burnley’s departure in August.

He added: “I am joining the board at a tremendously exciting time as Asda builds on the incredible resilience it has shown 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 everyday lives of millions of consumers in the UK.’