George surprises Asda with departure

George Davies, who founded Next and the George clothing brand for supermarket Asda, has surprised the retailer’s management and staff with his resignation.

LONDON (Brand Republic) – George Davies, who founded Next and the George clothing brand for supermarket Asda, has surprised the retailer’s management and staff with his resignation.

Davies grew the George brand into a £600m-a-year clothing business and said he is leaving because it can survive without him. Although he stresses there has been no dispute, Davies said Asda’s recent takeover by US giant Wal-Mart had heralded “lots of changes”.

He added that the departure of MP and former chairman Archie Norman soon after the takeover had a big effect on his decision.

“Archie was the one person who gave some belief to the group about its clothing,” he said.

He has no job to go to, stressing, “I am too passionate and bloody difficult. Big corporate bodies couldn’t deal with me.”

Wal-Mart said his departure would not stop the growth of the George brand and said it still plans to roll it out in Germany and the US.