Top Asda marketer exits to take over at Waitrose

LONDON - Asda's marketing director, Richard Hodgson, has sensationally quit the Wal-Mart-owned retailer after just five months in the role to take up the position of buying director at Waitrose.

Hodgson will be one of the three top directors and the most senior marketer at Waitrose, although the supermarket's marketing director, Christian Cull, will not report directly to him.

In his new role, Hodgson will be responsible for merchandising, store design and food technology.

A former brand director at Asda, Hodgson succeeded former marketing director Chris Pilling, who left Asda to become chief operating officer of First Direct (Marketing, 22 March).

Soon after taking on the marketing director role, Hodgson created a furore when, speaking at an event organised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he described it as his job to "undo" the marketing of brands sold in Asda stores and drive customers to its own-label offering instead.

It is believed that Hodgson's responsibilities are going to be handled by director of retail marketing Katherine Patterson until Asda finds an external candidate to take over the position.

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