Tesco chief executive to step down

Tesco’s chief executive Philip Clarke is to step down in October following the supermarkets poor performance in a “challenging market”.

Clarke will be replaced in October by Dave Lewis of consumer goods company Unilever. Following the announcement Clarke stated: “Having taken the business through the huge challenges of the last few years, I think this is the right moment to hand over responsibility and I am delighted that Dave Lewis has agreed to join us. Dave has worked with Tesco directly or indirectly over many years and is well-known within the business. I will do everything in my power to support him in taking the company forward through the next stage of its journey.”

The supermarket announced its trading update alongside the announcement, in which it said that current trading conditions “are more challenging than we anticipated”. Tesco posted poor results in June with a third consecutive quarter of falling sales, with like-for-like sales down 3.7% for the first quarter of 2014-2015.

Tesco reported that trading profits were lower than expected due to a weaker overall market coupled with investments made “to improve the customer offer and to build long term loyalty”.

Sir Richard Broadbent, chairman of Tesco PLC, said of the appointment: “Having guided Tesco through a substantial re-positioning in challenging markets, Philip Clarke agreed with the board that this is the appropriate moment to hand over to a new leader with fresh perspectives and a new profile.

“Dave Lewis brings a wealth of international consumer experience and expertise in change management, business strategy, brand management and customer development. He is already known to many people inside Tesco having worked with the business over many years in his roles at Unilever. The board believes that with Dave’s leadership Tesco will sustain and improve its leading position in the retail market.”

Tesco reported that Lewis will receive a basic salary of £1.25m.

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