UK supermarket giant Asda has announced that Simon King will join the business as its new chief operating officer in January 2011.

He will largely take up the brief vacated by Andy Clarke who succeeded Andy Bond in May as president and CEO of Asda, which operates the George clothing line and is owned by Wal-Mart.

King is currently the chief executive of supermarket and hypermarket operator Panda Retail, a subsidiary of The Savola Group based in Saudi Arabia.

Until 2009 he was CEO of Tesco Kipa in Turkey and has retail experience with both Tesco and Safeway.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Simon to Asda,” said Andy Clarke. “In his career, he’s demonstrated his talents as both a strategic leader and a day-to-day operator in large complex retail businesses. I know he shares a commitment to people and delivering for customers. I’m looking forward to the contribution I know he’ll make here at Asda.”