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Tesco close to appointing a new chairman

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Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, is reportedly close to securing a new chairman, with two city heavyweights in line for the position.

The Big Four grocer has supposedly slashed its shortlist down to two candidates, with Sir Richard Broadbent’s successor said to be Sir Ian Cheshire, who recently left Kingfisher, or John Allan, the Chairman of housebuilder Barratt Developments. The man for the job is said to be finalised in the coming weeks, although the process could take longer.

Broadbent stepped down as Tesco suspended nine executive over a profit overstatement scandal. Following that, and issuing a string of profit warnings, the supermarket chain has its work cut out. The new chairman will support Dave Lewis, new Chief Exec, in rebuilding a beleaguered reputation of a retailer that was once Britain’s most successful.

Matt Davies, current CEO at Halfords, has been poached by Tesco as its soon-to-be UK CEO and will also be in on Lewis’s turnaround. During a trading update call yesterday, Davies said he was “genuinely gutted to be leaving Halfords” “It was absolutely not in my script to be leaving,” he continued, “but when I was approached by Tesco and given the opportunity to run their business in the UK & Ireland and to work with Dave Lewis it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.”

Tesco recently began informing its most senior level of management of potential job cuts, or demotions. Numbers are expected to be reduced by a third, from the current level of between 120 and 150 and continued cuts are expected across lower levels of the organisation.

Published on Thursday 22 January by Veebs Sabharwal

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