Blog: Leonie BarrieRevolving door at Tesco

Leonie Barrie | 19 October 2007

There are fears of a brain drain at UK supermarket giant Tesco after it lost its fifth senior manager in as many months today. The exit of its Central European clothing boss Julia Reynolds, who is heading for the CEO post at online lingerie and swimwear retailer, is the only apparel-related departure. But the seeming mass exodus of other top executives, including commercial finance director Keith Down, head of IT John Browett, head of Tesco Direct Steve Robinson, and director of Tesco's development programme Dido Harding is raising concerns.

Analysts say the departures reflect the lack of opportunity for promotion to board level jobs within the retail group. The only step up the ladder for Reynolds, for instance, would have been to succeed Tesco's international sourcing chief, John Hoerner. Ambitious executives need to be able to make their mark, as well as spot opportunities for career progression. And if these aren’t going to come internally, then they have little option but to look elsewhere.

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