Premier Foods’ Claire Harrison-Church replaces Chris McDonough as Asda marketing boss

Claire Harrison-Church, currently category business unit director at Premier Foods, is to replace Asda marketing director, Chris McDonough, as vice president of marketing after he left the business amid the retailer’s senior management shake-up.

McDonough was hired with the intention of eventually succeeding chief customer officer Steve Smith when he returned from secondment to parent company Walmart.

However as part of the consolidation of senior management, announced last week, it was revealed that chief merchandising officer for food, Barry Williams, would instead be promoted to Smith’s position.

McDonough subsequently resigned.

A spokesperson explained: “As Steve Smith was always on an expat assignment with Asda, he brought Chris into the business with a view to him as a successor. Whilst the decision to consolidate exec positions makes total business sense, a sad consequence of that was that we could no longer fulfil Chris’s career ambitions and so he has left the business.”

Smith lauded McDonough as “fundamental in transforming our marketing capability”.

However, Williams added Harrison-Church has a “wealth of experience across the retail industry and marketing” having led marketing teams at KFC, Boots, and Unilever.

“She will be leading a hugely skilled and professional team during an exciting period in our business and I look forward to her making her mark with us and our customers,” he added.

It is understood that McDonough has a role to go to, but a spokesperson told The Drum “it is for him to announce in his own time”.

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