Asda recruits new IT chief to handle transition

Former Morrisons CTO Anna Barsby will lead retailer’s tech agenda as part of its acquisition by the Issa brothers

Supermarket chain Asda has appointed a new technology leader to handle the company’s IT following its sale by Walmart to the billionaire Issa brothers in a £6.8bn deal in October 2020.

Anna Barsby, who recently headed up digital transformation at luxury retailer Fortnum & Mason and has been chief technology officer at Bradford-headquartered retailer Morrisons, was hired to lead the technology aspects of the transition. Appointed as chief digital and technology officer, Barsby was hired by Asda for her change management expertise.

“I bring grocery and retail experience, but I am a people and change leader who loves the value that technology can drive in business,” said Barsby.

“This is an exciting opportunity to really engage the skills and talent of Asda. It is a unique chance, and you rarely get to do that at this scale.”

Barsby is also one of the founders, and a managing partner, of management consulting firm Tessiant, which focuses on strategy, transformation and organisational change programmes for clients.

She created Tessiant in January 2020 after leaving Morrisons in 2019. Previously, she worked at outdoor and automotive retailer Halfords, where she was CIO until 2016. Barsby currently acts as an external adviser at Bain & Company.

Barsby has also worked as head of infrastructure and service delivery at Whitbread, and IS transformation programme manager for the Financial Services Authority. She has an MBA from Warwick Business School.

In 2020, Barsby was included in Computer Weekly’s list of the Most Influential Women in UK Technology.

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