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Tesco CEO to leave in shock departure

Published:  02 October, 2019

Tesco boss Dave Lewis is to step down as CEO next year after serving five years in the role.

In a statement released alongside the company’s interim results, Lewis said the decision to leave was a personal one and it was time to “pass the baton” as the company’s turnaround was now “complete”.

“I believe the tenure of the CEO should be a finite one,” said Lewis.

“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.”

Tesco chairman John Allan said he had accepted Lewis’s resignation “with regret” and praised the “outstanding job” he had undertaken in rebuilding the supermarket since 2014.

“Today’s results confirm that the Tesco turnaround has been delivered,” Allan said.. “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, a re-invigorated brand and financial strength.”

Lewis will be succeeded by Ken Murphy next summer.

Murphy 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 is unquestionably, a seasoned, growth-orientated business leader,” Allan said. “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.”

Lewis added: “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.”