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Walmart Canada CEO leaves to lead its China business

Leadership shuffle leads to changes in Leadership changes in the U.K., China and Canada

The president of Walmart Canada is moving to China as part of an executive shuffle in three countries.

Dirk Van den Berghe (pictured) will become president and CEO of Walmart China as well as regional president of Walmart’s Asia business, which includes operations in Japan.

He replaces Sean Clarke, who will head up Walmart’s struggling Asda chain in the U.K. Clarke, in turn replaces Andy Clarke, who spent six years as head of Asda and has put in 20 years with the company.

Walmart made the announcement on Monday, but Van den Berghe isn’t expected to take on his new role until Aug. 22.

Walmart said it would name a new president of the Canadian operations shortly.

Van den Berghe became president of Walmart in Canada in two years ago. Previously he had been CEO of Delhaize Group’s supermarket business in Belgium and Luxembourg. He also previously worked for Delhaize in Asia.

Under his leadership, the Canadian division expanded its supercenter format, grew its grocery business and launched online click and collect services in Ottawa and Toronto.

Walmart has reported eight consecutive quarters of same-store growth in Canada. In its most recent quarter, same-store sales grew 6.7%, driven by traffic growth of 4.6%.

Canada and Mexico have been among the bright spots of the company's international division in recent years. Asda in the U.K. has been one of its laggards, in part due to stiff competition from Germany's hard discounters, Aldi and Lidl.

Van den Berge is “well positioned” to lead Walmart’s China and Japan businesses “due to his prior roles in Asia and his deep knowledge of the retail business from his time in Europe," David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International, said in a statement.

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