Tesco chief Philip Clarke has been dealt a new blow after his finance chief quit today.
Laurie McIlwee will remain with the retailer till a suitable replacement is found.
It is believed Mcllwee resigned following shareholder pressure and speculation over strategy with boss Clarke.
He was appointed Tesco‘s UK finance director in 2000 and helped to steer the retailer through the recession.
Clarke is under pressure following a succession of profit downgrades from investors and Tesco is expected to post a 10 per cent profit fall on April 16.
Sir Richard Broadbent, chairman, said: “I would like to thank Laurie for his contribution to Tesco over the last 14 years.
“Together with Philip and the wider team, Laurie has played an important role in our process to transform Tesco and position it to be a winner in the new era of retailing.
“I and the board wish him every success for the future.”
It is believed that Tesco will welcome external candidates for the role.