Asda’s PR chief Alan Preece is to quit the job after three and a half
years. Preece, who resigned last week, will leave within the next two
He will be replaced by National and Provincial corporate communications
manager Christine Watts.
The 37-year-old Preece said he had ‘spoken with one or two people in
retail’ about job prospects but was not ‘wedded’ to remaining in the
industry. He refused to say whether any of these discussions were with
His replacement, Watts, was headhunted from N&P last month, and will
join Asda’s five-strong public relations team in April.
Watts said she believed her two year stint as N&P’s most senior
communications executive would stand her in good stead for the food
‘Personal financial services is extremely competitive,’ she said.
‘However I will still need to learn about the supermarket world.’
Watts and her eight-strong team are currently working on a campaign to
encourage N&P members to vote on the proposed merger of the building
society with Abbey National. A decision over whether she will be
replaced will depend on the result, expected in April.
Preece, who joined Asda in 1992 under a new management team led by chief
executive Archie Norman, said it was ‘time to move on’.
‘I’ve achieved a substantial amount and its time to look for new
challenges,’ he said.
He is credited with helping to re-mould Asda’s image as a campaigning
retailer, able to take on supermarket heavyweight’s Tesco and
Sainsbury’s through high-profile public affairs campaigns.