Asda bags ex-Marks and Spencer CIO

Marks and Spencer’s CIO, Carl Dawson, is leaving the corporate after six years to tackle the CIO position at grocery store Asda.

Dawson can be a full-time substitute for Asda’s earlier CIO, Phil Tenney, who left the retailer in December 2020.

Asda’s chief working officer, Anthony Hemmerdinger, stated: “We are delighted to welcome Carl to Asda as chief information officer. Carl has strong retail and digital experience having previously worked at Tesco, Shop Direct and Thomas Cook, and this experience and expertise will be invaluable to us as we navigate our separation from our Walmart systems.”

At the top of 2020, it was confirmed that Walmart would promote Asda to Issa brothers and TDR Capital, providing a potential rationalization for the necessity to separate from Walmart’s IT techniques.  

Asda has a historical past of innovation, most lately together with tasks similar to introducing Müller’s shelf-edge digital advertising and marketing shows in 35 shops and trialling supply administration from tech platform Sorted to make it simpler for purchasers to trace on-line orders made by means of its George model.

At the start of 2021, the grocery store introduced the creation of 4,500 on-line operations jobs throughout the subsequent 12 months as a part of plans to broaden its “in-store pick” mannequin to cope with shoppers’ elevated reliance on on-line buying.

As acknowledged by Hemmerdinger, Dawson has a historical past of IT administration within the retail sector, having beforehand been CIO of web retailing at Tesco and group CIO for Shop Direct and Thomas Cook.

Hemmerdinger additionally praised Anna Barsby, who has been performing as interim CIO for the grocery store since Tenney’s departure in December, serving to with the technical elements of the agency’s transition away from Walmart.

“Anna has done a fantastic job in steering us through the early days of this critical project and we are grateful for her continued efforts on our future business planning, as well as support in welcoming Carl,” he stated.

M&S’s chief know-how officer, Mike Yorwerth, who started his position initially of 2020, claimed in a LinkedIn submit that he would assist M&S “continue the transformation to a digital-first business” that places clients on the forefront.

In the previous few years, M&S has been working to make up misplaced floor in digital adoption after admitting in 2018 that it was “well behind” its rivals when it got here to on-line buying.

The retailer has been engaged on a number of tasks, together with partnering with Decoded to show its staff information science abilities and introducing a photograph search functionality to its cell web site to assist folks discover merchandise they may like.

M&S has additionally partnered with a startup referred to as ChargeUp to introduce battery charging banks in its shops for purchasers to make use of whereas buying, and has labored with Founders Factory, a community for entrepreneurs and startups, to realize entry to new improvements with the opportunity of constructing new joint retail ventures.

In 2020, M&S and Ocado started their on-line supply partnership, which noticed M&S take a 50% share of Ocado’s UK retail enterprise as a part of a £750m deal that makes M&S groceries accessible for supply by means of the Ocado on-line buying platform.

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