SENIOR staff at Asda are reportedly planning to leave the company as the Issa brothers take charge.

This comes after many of the supermarket chain's executives received payouts from a scheme run by previous American owners Walmart, ahead of the takeover by the Blackburn-based EG Group founders.

According to reports in The Times and the Retail Gazette, corporate headhunters have been contacted by several Asda executives planning to 'stage an exodus' from the company, with a higher than usual level of interest, following on from chief executive Roger Burnley who has already decided to leave.

Speaking when he announced his intention to leave, Mr Burnley said: “My decision to leave Asda is personal and something I wanted to communicate to my colleagues as soon as I could.

“It has been a great privilege to play a leading role at Asda over the last five years, putting in place a clear strategy for long-term sustainable growth and doing the right things for our customers, colleagues and the communities we serve.

“I could not be prouder of our achievements during this time, which have seen us maintain our strong heritage as a value and values-driven retailer, offering great products to our customers at consistently low prices as well as supporting our local communities.

“We have also developed our brand partnerships that mean we are an even more convenient place than ever to shop.”

Walmart's scheme had allowed senior staff to share in the company's stocks.

According to The Times, the executives who have decided to follow Mr Burnley have done so because under the new ownership they will no longer be able to take part in the scheme.

However, a new scheme has been put in place with Mohsin and Zuber Issa coming into ownership which will see staff receive between 100 per cent and 200 per cent of their salary in cash bonuses, depending on their seniority.

A spokesperson for the Issa brothers and their partners TDR Capital said that they did not wish to comment.