Tesco exec changes will drive "credible strategy"
The management changes will be effective from 1 January
Tesco has revealed a raft of management changes, including two departures, that analysts believe will allow the UK retailer to now press on with building "a credible trading strategy".
Changes to the executive committee see new CEO Dave Lewis take charge of the UK business on a temporary basis, relieving Robin Terrell of his responsibility. Terrell has been appointed director of customer.
Jill Easterbrook, chief customer officer, will assume responsibility for business development, while Benny Higgins will take on responsibility for group strategy in addition to his role leading the bank and international financial services business.
Rebecca Shelley will lead corporate communications while the investor relations team will work to the group CFO Alan Stewart, and Jason Tarry has been appointed head of commercial.
The changes, which will be effective from 1 January, mean two roles are no longer needed. These are Matt Atkinson's role as chief creative officer and David Hobbs as group business planning and strategy director.
Shore Capital analyst, Clive Black, said of the management changes: "We have to wait and see what the new team delivers in terms of trading performance and shareholder returns before they are judged by the market and so we are not allowing ourselves to be 'getting ahead of ourselves' with joy that a new management team is in-situ."
In particular, the appointment of Lewis as temporary UK head is, he said, good news. "Tesco is a big group that needs accountability and responsibility drilled into it again; it is not lost on us our calls five or six years ago for Tesco to appoint a UK managing director when the group was under Sir Terry Leahy as the wider pressures drew attention away from the core."
On 23 October, Tesco revealed it had overstated its profits by GBP263m (US$413.2m) and it is now the subject of an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.
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