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• Walmart has announced that it is making Sean Clarke, CEO of its Chinese business, the new CEO of its Asda Group in the UK, which has been suffering several years of declining sales because of the burgeoning business being done by discounters like Aldi and Lidl.

Sean Clarke will take over from Andy Clarke - to whom he is not related - at Asda next month.

The announcement is something of a surprise since it was just last week that Andy Clarke was quoted as saying that he would eventually be replaced by Roger Burnley - who hasn't even joined Asda yet as COO. Burnley was rival J. Sainsbury's director of retail and operations when he was named COO of Asda last October, but he won't begin at Asda for another four months.

Reuters reports that "Wal-Mart International's president and chief executive David Cheesewright said Burnley would be deputy chief executive, and he viewed him as a 'top talent and future chief executive'."

Sean Clarke's role in China will be absorbed for the time being by Dirk Van De Berghe, CEO of Wal-Mart Canada.
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