Blog: Michelle RussellTesco chairman successor list "drawn up"

Michelle Russell | 14 October 2014

As UK retail giant Tesco continues to fight its way through the fallout from its recent accounting crisis, it seems a board member has begun compiling a list of candidates to succeed chairman Sir Richard Broadbent.

According to Sky News, Tesco senior independent director Patrick Cescau has told leading investors that the retailer is "preparing for a range of scenarios", including the exit of Broadbent.

Cescau has also reportedly made it clear he does not want to be considered for the chairmanship himself.

There has been speculation since the GBP250m profit overstatement was revealed in Tesco's first-half accounts last month as to whether Broadbent would step down.

Sky News reports that a number of investors have privately expressed support for John Gildersleeve, a former Tesco executive, to succeed Broadbent, while former Asda boss Archie Norman, who now chairs ITV, is also regarded as a possible frontrunner.

To date, eight executives are understood to have been suspended as a result of the accounting mishap, including group commercial director Kevin Grace. Another was Chris Bush, the head of its UK business.

Last week, however, the retailer appointed two non-executive members to its board of directors, adding what analysts believe is much needed international consumer market experience for the struggling supermarket group.

Richard Cousins, CEO of Compass Group, and Mikael Ohlsson, the former CEO and president of Ikea, will both join the board on 1 November.

The question now, however, is whether replacing the chairman at this time will only destabilise the company further?

 

Sectors: Apparel, Finance, Retail

Companies: Tesco, Asda

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