In a surprise announcement, alongside its interim results for the period 2019/2020, Dave Lewis, current CEO of Tesco is to step down from the company next summer.
In a statement, Lewis said: “Despite challenging external conditions we have delivered a very good start to the year. I’m very pleased to say that we have now delivered every element of the turnaround plan and from this position of strength, the transformation of our business continues at pace.
“The Capital Markets Day in June laid out many opportunities for further, profitable growth and I’m delighted to share today the plans to step up our store opening programme, to increase our online capacity, the introduction of Clubcard Plus in the UK and the acquisition of Best Food Logistics as the next step in our Booker growth strategy.
“With the turnaround complete and as we begin to implement the next steps of our sustainable growth strategy, now is the right time to plan a smooth and orderly succession. As such, I will step down as Group CEO next summer and pass the baton to Ken Murphy.”
Tesco chairman, John Allan added: “It is with regret that I have accepted the resignation of Dave Lewis as Group CEO of Tesco, who has decided that he wants to leave the business in the summer of2020.Dave has done an outstanding job in rebuilding Tesco since 2014andhe continues to have unwavering support from the Board. Some time ago, however, he indicated to me that he was considering the best time to hand over to a successor. His openness allowed me to begin a thorough and orderly process to identify a potential candidate to replace him. As a result, today, we have appointed Ken Murphy to succeed Dave as Group CEO of Tesco next summer.”
Commenting on the new appointment Allan continued: “Ken is unquestionably, a seasoned, growth-orientated business leader. He has deep commercial, marketing and brand experience within retail and wholesale businesses, first with Alliance Unichem, and then with Boots.
“He was joint chief operating officer at Boots UK & Ireland before rising to Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer and President Global Brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance. Ken has values which align with our own, strong strategic and operating acumen, and is proven at the very top of a large and respected multinational retail group. I firmly believe we have the right person for the job.
“Ken has contractual commitments to his previous employer, and therefore we will announce his precise start date in due course.
“Today’s results confirm that the Tesco turnaround has been delivered. Under Dave’s leadership Tesco has transformed customer satisfaction and rebuilt the business. We can now move forward with renewed confidence. We have an exceptional leadership team, a very clear strategy, are-invigorated brand and financial strength.”
Commenting on the move Lewis continued: “My decision to step down as Group CEO is a personal one. I believe that the tenure of the CEO should be a finite one and that now is the right time to pass the baton. Our turnaround is complete, we have delivered all the metrics we set for ourselves.
“The leadership team is very strong, our strategy is clear and it is delivering. The Tesco brand is stronger and customer satisfaction is the highest it has been for many years. Colleagues are doing an extraordinary job and their expertise shows in every store and channel every day.
“With these firm foundations and a competitive, sustainable growth strategy in place, I have no doubt that Tesco will kick on again under new leadership next year. When that time comes, I will watch progress from outside with interest, deep affection and pride. In the meantime, you can be sure that I will give the job everything I have until my very last day.”