Former Asda executive Doug Gurr has been appointed to run Amazon’s UK operations, a sign that the online retailer could be making online groceries a key priority for its business here.
Gurr, currently head of Amazon’s Chinese operations, will take over from current UK head Christopher North in late May. North’s departure was announced last month. He is taking up the role of CEO and President at Shutterfly.
Gurr joined Amazon in 2011 after a 5-year stint at Asda, where he was a development director according to The Guardian.
His supermarket experience will come in handy as Amazon moves into online groceries in the UK through its Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh services.
The online retail giant says in the release announcing Gurr’s appointment: “Doug returns to the UK at a time of rapid expansion. In the last 12 months, we have introduced many new services for customers, including Prime Now, Prime Same-Day and Amazon Pantry.”
Amazon began selling frozen food through its Prime Now service last September and recently launched Amazon Pantry, a limited-range grocery service with around 4,000 items on offer. An early stage deal has also been reached with Morrisons in February to stock its products.
Amazon Fresh, the online retail giant’s grocery delivery service that handles fresh food, is also tipped to launch imminently in the UK.
Gurr says in an emailed statement announcing his appointment: “I’m delighted to be returning to Amazon in the UK to lead our continued investment in Britain and innovation on behalf of customers, small businesses, authors and other content creators.”