Asda merges comms and marketing divisions

Asda has restructured its comms department and hired the corporate affairs chief from school dinners company Compass as its top UK communicator.

Paul Kelly will join Asda later this year, reporting ­directly to the board.

The supermarket will ­begin hunting for two corporate PR managers to support Kelly, whose appointment follows the merger of some of the comms team into the marketing department.

‘We now have a slightly different structure on the PR side,’ said executive director of corporate and legal affairs John Longworth. ‘We’ve put product PR – the consumer-facing part of PR – into the marketing department.’

Kelly will start in August as director of corporate affairs, responsible for all corporate PR and CSR issues. He replaces group director of public affairs and corporate responsibility Peter Bra­cher, who left at the end of last year to take a top role at Indian retail giant Reliance.

Head of PR Rachel Fellows will oversee consu­mer PR, reporting to marketing director Rick Bendel.

Kelly has been director of corporate affairs at Compass since 2001. His exit comes ­after the firm hit the headlines following a row over the quality of school meals.

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