Asda hires first digital chief to drive retail data strategy

asda 2Asda is bolstering its data and ecommerce strategy by appointing its first ever chief digital officer as the supermarket continues its quest to overtake Sainsbury’s and become the UK’s second largest grocery retailer.

Matt Kelleher joins from rival Morrisons, where he has been since 2012, latterly as chief information officer, running a team of 800 staff and with responsibility for all the company’s tech services.

Prior to that, Kelleher worked as group transformation officer at Carphone Warehouse and director of multichannel operations at BestBuy Europe.

He also had an 12-year stint at Accenture, leading the delivery of large-scale, international business change programmes for clients including Sainsburys, AS Watson Holdings, Tesco and DSGI across both Europe and Asia.

In his new role, Kelleher will take on responsibility for Asda’s data and ecommerce functions and will also lead the retailer’s tech functions once its ongoing transformation project ‘Future’ is complete. He will join Asda’s executive leadership team led by co-owner Mohsin Issa.

The supermarket chain’s data strategy has been building rapidly over the past 12 months, spearheaded by its first loyalty programme, Asda Rewards, powered by Eagle Eye’s AIR platform.

Early last year it handed the digital transformation of its online grocery business to Publicis Sapient, to ditch previous owner Walmart’s legacy systems and build its own data-driven platform to be delivered before April 2024.

It has also launched an insight platform for both customers and suppliers, in a deal with Quantium, and signed a deal with Salesforce to build a 360-degree view of customers, and provide personalised and tailored experiences that it hopes will “revolutionise the consumer grocery experience”.

Tesco remains the UK’s leading grocery retailer, with over 4,000 stores and sales of £39.7bn; Sainsbury’s has 1,400 stores and a turnover of £28.1bn, while Asda has 600 shops and a turnover of £23.6bn.

Mohsin Issa said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be part of Asda as our business grows and develops for the benefit of our customers.

“Our use of data and technology transformation is a critical element of our ongoing transformation and I am delighted that we continue to attract new talent and skills as we progress this important work. I look forward to welcoming Matt to the Asda family.”

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