NEWS: N&P’s Watts to head up Asda PR in wake of Preece

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 months.

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

months.



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

rival supermarkets.



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

retail sector.



‘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.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in