TORONTO — Mark Foote, the veteran Canadian merchant brought in to help Loblaw Cos. pull out of a rut two years ago, left his role as president and chief merchandising officer of the company effective yesterday as Alan Leighton, the former Asda executive who’d been serving as deputy chairman, was named president, the company here said. In further moves, Loblaw said William Wells, its chief financial officer, is also leaving the company along with the vice president of food, Petro Satriano. Loblaw only last month denied a report from a financial analyst that suggested the company’s leadership triumvirate of Foote, Executive Chairman Galen G. Weston and Leighton could be dissolved as the company struggles to execute a turnaround. “[W]e require more focus and clarity in our leadership structure. These changes will provide this,” Leighton said in a statement. Loblaw said Bob Vaux, CFO of Loblaw’s parent company George Weston Ltd., will serve as Loblaw’s CFO until further notice. Frank Rocchetti, executive vice president of general merchandise, will succeed Foote as chief merchandising officer, Loblaw added.
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