Tesco chief Philip Clarke has been dealt a new blow amid reports that his finance chief is set to step down as soon as next week.
Laurie Mcllwee, who is believed to earn £917,000 a year (inc commission,) is understood to be planning his resignation following shareholder pressure and speculation over clashes with boss Clarke over strategy.
He was appointed Tesco’s UK finance director in 2000 and helped to steer the retailer through the recession and cut its capital expenditure in the process. His resignation would hurt Clarke who recently announced a £1bn overhaul including some £200m in price cuts.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb said: “It is perhaps more than a little unfair that Tesco finance director Laurie Mcllwee is to be the scapegoat for Tesco’s profit weakness, but his communications skills seem to have left him vulnerable.”
The grocer has struggled in the wake of pressure from discounters Aldi and Lidl and recently saw its market share fall to the lowest level in nine years to 28.7 per cent, according to Kantar. 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.