The CEO of Tesco, Philip Clarke has announced he is to step down from the position in a shock departure.
The news comes in just after Tesco have announced that trade profits for the first half of the year will be lower than expected.
Clarke has been working at the store since 1974, when he joined the company as a shelf stacker. His leaving is likely to signify a new direction for the supermarket giant.
It has been widely argued that Tesco is in need of change; last month they reported their biggest ever decline in sales in the last 20 years with competition from Lidl and Aldi cited as the cause.
Dave Lewis, who leads Unilever‘s personal care business and was described by Tesco as “responsible for a number of business turnarounds” will take over the role from 1 October. His salary will be £1.25m along with shares and he will also pick up £525,000 in lieu of giving up his bonus from Unilever.
Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent said that Lewis was already known to many people inside Tesco, having worked with the supermarket “over many years in his roles at Unilever”. He added that Lewis would “sustain and improve” Tesco‘s position in the retail market.
He also said the board was deeply grateful to Clarke. “Philip has done a huge amount to set a clear direction and re-position Tesco to meet the rapid changes taking place in the retail market. He has achieved a great deal across all areas of the business in the face of considerable pressures.”