Asda has approached the boss of Fat Face, the upscale fashion brand, to take the helm of George, its clothing arm, as the new owners of the supermarket chain orchestrate a management overhaul.
Sky News has learned that Liz Evans, who has been running Fat Face since 2018, is a top contender to become the next CEO of George – Britain’s largest clothing retailer by volume.
Sources said on Wednesday that Ms Evans had yet to officially accept the role, but said she was “the kind of high-caliber candidate that Asda would be interested in.”
If confirmed, Ms Evans’ appointment would further quell speculation that new Asda shareholders may seek to offload the George company.
The brand is the UK’s third largest clothing retailer by value, behind Next and Marks & Spencer with a 5.5% share.
Prior to joining Fat Face, Ms. Evans headed the Oasis and Warehouse brands and also held several positions at M&S.
Asda is seeking a successor to Steph Strike, George’s former chief executive, who stepped down earlier this year.
The grocery giant is also on the hunt for a new CEO following the announcement of Roger Burnley’s resignation.
Asda was bought earlier this year by the Issa brothers, the entrepreneurs behind the fuel distribution empire EG Group, and TDR Capital for £ 6.8 billion.
Walmart’s decision to sell Asda follows the abandonment of a merger with J Sainsbury on competitive grounds.
The new owners of the supermarket chain are determined to revitalize the business after a period in which it posted the weakest like-for-like sales performance of the four largest UK grocers.
Asda is one of the UK’s largest private sector employers, with over 146,000 employees.
It is sold in more than 600 Asda Living supermarkets, stand-alone gas stations and housewares stores.
Asda’s search for a new boss is now being waged against the backdrop of a bidding war for rival Wm Morrison.
A consortium led by Fortress Investment Group has agreed to an amount of £ 6.3bn Morrisons takeover, but faces competition from Clayton Dubilier & Rice, a private investor who has successfully grown businesses such as B&M, the discount retailer.
The appointment of a new CEO at Asda will represent the latest in a wave of changes at the top of major UK supermarkets, which have been the big winners from the pandemic.
Ken Murphy recently replaced Sir Dave Lewis as CEO of Tesco, while at Sainsbury’s Simon Roberts took over from Mike Coupe last year.
Asda declined to comment when Ms Evans was unavailable for comment.