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AMSTERDAM -- Tony De Nunzio, president and c.e.o. of Asda, Wal-Mart's UK operation, was appointed today as chairman of the executive board of Vendex KBB, the Netherlands' leading nonfood retailer.
De Nunzio will take the helm at Vendex within a few months. Vendex's current c.e.o., Ed Hamming, will retire upon De Nunzio's arrival and has agreed after stepping down to serve as an advisor to the company. There was no word about a successor to De Nunzio at Asda last week.
De Nunzio joined Asda in 1993, initially as finance director of the company's Allied Maples division. He became group finance director in 1998 and played a pivotal role in the company's acquisition by Wal-Mart in July 1999. In 2002 he was appointed president and c.e.o. of Asda.
Under his leadership, Asda has overtaken Sainsbury's as the number two grocery retailer in the UK. With its George brand, Asda has become the number one volume retailer of clothing in the UK. In addition, Asda has won such awards as Britain's Best Place to Work in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Asda now accounts for almost half of the international sales of Wal-Mart.
Prior to joining Asda, De Nunzio had a career with the international consumer products companies Unilever, L'Oréal, and PepsiCo. In 2000 he joined MFI (the leading fitting kitchen and bedroom retailer in the UK) as a non-executive director and was appointed deputy chairman of the company last month.
"The world-class leadership, retailing and consumer marketing skills Tony brings with him make him the ideal executive board chairman to lead the strong team at Vendex KBB to future success," said Todd Fisher, chairman of Vendex KBB's supervisory board. Vendex operates 15 retail formats, and nearly 1,800 outlets in seven countries.