Asda Hires First Digital Chief, Expands Efforts to Encourage Girls to Consider Careers in Tech

Asda has appointed its first-ever Chief Digital Officer.
Image courtesy Asda

UK supermarket chain Asda is fortifying its digital foundation both for the present and the future. The company has appointed Morrisons executive Matt Kelleher as its first Chief Digital Officer and plans to double the number of workshops it hosts this year in partnership with Girls in Data, an organization that encourages girls to consider careers in technology.

Matt Kelleher, incoming Chief Digital Officer, Asda
Matt Kelleher, incoming Chief Digital Officer, Asda (Photo credit: Asda)

Asda is continuing to evolve how it uses data to improve its customer experience as part of its long-term ambition to become the UK’s second largest grocery retailer. (Asda currently sits in the number three position after Tesco and Sainsbury’s). Toward that aim, Kelleher will join Asda in July 2024 from Morrisons, where he has served as CIO. He also will lead all of Asda’s technology functions once the company’s ongoing technology transformation project is complete.

“Our use of data and technology transformation is a critical element of our ongoing transformation, and I am delighted that we continue to attract new talent and skills as we progress this important work,” said Asda Co-Owner Mohsin Issa, who acquired the company from Walmart in 2020, in a statement.

Speaking of new talent, Asda also is looking even further into the future through its partnership with Girls in Data, providing technology- and data-led workshops to girls in classrooms across West Yorkshire. In 2023, the partners delivered full-day workshops at nine schools across the region, reaching 225 girls, and the partners hope to double the number of schools reached in 2024.


For every four male scientists and analysts currently at work, there is only one female, noted Asda in a statement shared with Retail TouchPoints, adding that “Asda recognizes that there is a need for more women to feel empowered at a young age to pursue a career in technology, and we believe that initiatives like Girls in Data will help to move the industry in the right direction.”  

An Asda school workshop with Girls in Data.
Image courtesy Asda

The workshops feature members of the Asda Data Team alongside representatives from Girls in Data who present a curriculum covering cryptography, Power Bi, Scratch Advanced and Smart Devices Group Task. 

“Enabling and encouraging more girls to get into technology and data is so important as these fields become increasingly vital, not just within Asda but in all businesses,” said Gabriela Dobre, Program Manager for Asda’s Data and Analytics team in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to support Girls in Data to deliver these workshops throughout Yorkshire educating young girls. For 2024, we already see schools from last year wanting to participate again, which is a testament to the success of the initiative.” 

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