Tesco’s senior independent director Richard Cousins has made a surprise departure from the grocer, just days before its Christmas sales figures are released.
Cousins, who is also the chief executive of catering group Compass, joined the retailer three years ago amid the accounting scandal and provided the country’s largest supermarket with an experienced, guiding hand through the crisis.
The announcement of Cousins’ sudden departure was made on Tuesday in a short stock market statement.
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The reasons behind his departure were not mentioned, butr Tesco chairman John Allan saidd: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Richard for his strong contributions to the deliberations of the Tesco board over the last two years and particularly for his insights and invaluable advice as we have delivered an unprecedented level of change across the business. We wish him well for the future.”
Taking on the role of senior independent director will be Deanna Oppenheimer, formerly the leader of Barclay’s European high street banking operations, who has been a member of the retailer’s boardroom for nearly five years.
Cousins was appointed the role in April 2015 and was paid £115,000 by the retailer last year.
There is speculation the departure could be due to a dispute within the boardroom, citing a possible disagreement between Cousins and chief executive Dave Lewis, according to The Guardian.
Tesco will release its festive season figures on January 12.