George Davies, founder of the Next retail chain and eponymous chief of Asda’s £600m-a-year George clothing brand, has abruptly quit the supermarket group.

He insists there is no dispute with Asda, recently acquired by US giant Wal-Mart, although he observed that the new ownership will lead to "lots of changes". He attributes his surprise move to the departure of former Asda chairman and MP Archie Norman, who quit to concentrate on his political career.

Said Davies, who has no other job in prospect: "Archie was the one person who gave some belief to the group about its clothing. I am too passionate and bloody difficult. Big corporate bodies couldn't deal with me."

Davies’ exit will not impede the George brand’s roll-out in the USA and Germany, Wal-Mart maintains.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)