Former Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose has been appointed chairman of Asda by its owners, the billionaire Issa brothers.
It marks a fifth top grocery job for the veteran, a former head of Booker and Iceland and Ocado chairman until May.
He is also chairman of EG Group, Mohsin and Zuber Issa’s petrol station empire.
The news comes nine months after the brothers and TDR Capital bought Asda, Britain’s third-largest supermarket, for £6.8 billion.
Rose will be its first chairman since the departure of Archie Norman, who sold the grocer to Walmart in 1999.
“I am joining the board at a hugely exciting time, as Asda builds on the incredible resilience it has demonstrated during the pandemic,” Rose said.
He added that the retailer was at “the next chapter of its evolution and growth under new ownership”.
Some sources believe that grocery high-fliers have avoided the job because of Asda’s new owners.
“It’s a great opportunity but you’ve got to accept that you won’t be calling the shots, they want to run it in the way they want,” one insider said.
“That’s where the danger is.”
It comes just days after Rose, a Conservative life peer, made headlines by condemning the prime minister’s attacks on business.
He said Boris Johnson’s “f— business” comment, reportedly made in 2018, was “the stupidest thing I ever heard”.
“At the end of the day, very simplistically, we only know one successful form of economics, which is capitalism,” he added.