Former Asda executive set to join Amazon UK

A former executive at the Walmart-owned grocer Asda is set to join the online retail giant Amazon in the UK to help drive its growth plans.

Amazon is close to hiring Doug Gurr - who left his role as Asda’s executive development director in January – in a senior role thought to be UK strategy director.

While Mr Gurr was responsible for strategy and logistics at Asda, Amazon plans to hire him for his experience in growing the supermarket chain’s online channel.

When his departure was unveiled in December, Asda’s chief executive Andy Clarke said that under Gurr’s leadership the supermarket had “transformed into Britain’s second-biggest home shopping service, launched Asda Direct, built a sizeable financial services business and rolled out in-store collection to more than 300 stores”.

After his departure from Asda in January, Mr Gurr helped Walmart with its acquisition of the Massmart chain in South Africa for a number of months. It is thought he is still technically employed by the world’s biggest retailer.

As a result of his contractual obligations at Walmart, it is thought that Mr Gurr will not join Amazon until later this year at the earliest, and possibly next year.

Amazon UK did not return calls, while Mr Gurr declined to comment.