// Tesco boss Dave Lewis, who has been at the helm since 2014, to depart next summer
// He will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance CCO Ken Murphy
// The news comes as the Big 4 giant unveiled its half year results
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis has announced his resignation after five years at the helm, on the same day the Big 4 grocer unveiled its half year results.
Lewis is set to leave Tesco next summer, and will be replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance chief commercial officer Ken Murphy upon his departure.
Tesco chairman John Allan revealed that Lewis had told him he was considering the best time to hand over his role to a successor, which prompted Allan to begin a “thorough and orderly process to identify a potential candidate”.
“It is with regret that I have accepted the resignation of Dave Lewis as group chief executive of Tesco, who has decided that he wants to leave the business in the summer of 2020,” Allan said.
“Dave has done an outstanding job in rebuilding Tesco since 2014 and he continues to have unwavering support from the board.”
Lewis, who made the announcement amid Tesco’s unveiling of its half year results today, said his decision to step down was a personal one, and that he has no new job lined up.
He also said he believed the turnaround plan he implemented soon after he started his role in 2014 was now “complete”.
“My decision to step down as group CEO is a personal one,” he said.
“I believe that the tenure of the CEO should be a finite one and that now is the right time to pass the baton.
“Our turnaround is complete, we have delivered all the metrics we set for ourselves. The leadership team is very strong, our strategy is clear and it is delivering.”
When Murphy takes on the top job at the Big 4 retailer, his basic salary will be £1.35 million a year with pension contributions of 7.5 per cent
Lewis had a base pay of £1.25 million with pension contributions of 25 per cent.
Meanwhile, in Tesco’s half-year period covering the 26 weeks to August 24, pre-tax profit rose 6.7 per cent to £494 million on flat group sales of £28.3 billion.
Operating profit rose 12.6 per cent year on year to £1.13 billion, while revenue fell flat with a 0.1 per cent rise, as it hit £31.9 billion.
Tesco also slashed back net debt by 7.8 per cent to reduce its debt pile to £12.6 billion.
Tesco said in a statement: “With the turnaround complete we move to the opportunities outlined at the capital markets day in June.
“We are in a strong position to generate sustainable growth within our existing capital expenditure allocation of £1.1 billion to £1.4 billion per year.”
Tesco’s trading update comes a week after Tesco axed its first ever Jack’s store in Rawtenstall, East Lancashire.
The discount chain will be replaced with a regular 40,000sq ft Tesco store due to customer demand.