British supermarket group Asda said on Friday its chief executive, Roger Burnley, has stepped down, having said in March he would not be departing until next year.
In February, Mohsin and Zuber Issa and private equity group TDR Capital completed their purchase of a majority holding in Asda from US giant Walmart, in a deal giving it an enterprise value of £6.8 billion ($9.5 billion).
A month later they said Burnley would leave the group next year after it has transitioned fully to new ownership and once his long-term successor was in place.
However, Burnley has now left the business.
"We have mutually agreed with Roger that now is the right time for him to step down from the business following a transition period under our ownership," the brothers and TDR said in a statement.
Asda said a process to recruit Burnley's replacement was "ongoing".
Burnley joined Asda as the director of supply in 1996. When Walmart bought Asda in 1999, he was part of the senior integration team and split his time between the UK and Arkansas.
He then stepped in as the supply chain director of British fashion and homeware retailer Matalan and continued in the role until his appointment as supply chain director of Sainsbury's in 2006.
He returned to Asda in 2016 as its chief operating officer and deputy chief executive and played a crucial role in its turnaround before being promoted to Asda’s president and CEO in January 2018.
Asda is Britain's third largest supermarket group after market leader Tesco and Sainsbury's.
In June, Britain's competition regulator accepted an offer from the new owners of the Asda supermarket chain to sell 27 petrol stations, in order to satisfy concerns that the takeover could lead to higher fuel prices.