// Tesco begins “new chapter” as Ken Murphy takes over from Dave Lewis as the new CEO
// Dave Lewis had been CEO since 2014 & led a successful turnaround in the wake of an accounting scandal
// Murphy is a former Walgreens Boots Alliance executive
New Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy has officially started his tenure leading the UK’s biggest supermarket.
Analysts have heralded his tenure as a “new chapter” for the grocery giant, as the leadership team which helped deliver its turnaround after the 2014 accounting scandal steps back.
Last year, Murphy – a former Walgreens Boots Alliance executive – was named as the successor to Dave Lewis and finally took the reins yesterday.
- Tesco shareholders reject £6.4m golden handshake for outgoing CEO
- Charles Wilson resigns as CEO of Tesco’s Booker wholesale arm
- New Tesco CEO’s start date delayed to October
It represents a major shake-up at Tesco, which has also seen Alan Stewart, its chief finance officer, and Charles Wilson, chief of its Booker wholesale arm, announce their departures.
Murphy held calls with shop workers and executives at the business on Thursday morning, introducing himself and answering questions.
Shore Capital’s Clive Black said this “represents the arrival of a new chapter” at Tesco where his challenges are set to be external, rather than the internal “chaos” faced by Lewis at the start of his leadership.
“The context in which Mr Murphy joins Tesco could not be more different to the chaos inherited by his very effective predecessor, Dave Lewis,” Black said.
“Whereas Mr Lewis faced into a tsunami of internal challenge, he passes a leadership ‘ball’ on to his successor at the right pace, direction and height.”
He stressed that Murphy would face his own challenges, such as UK-EU relations and potential tariffs from Brexit, economic recession across its markets, and the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tesco delivered strong sales in the face of the pandemic, posting 10.5 per cent growth in the 12 weeks to September 6, according to Kantar.
The supermarket has also pushed down on prices to keep customers on board during the recession, which saw it launch its Aldi Price Match in March as well as a raft of Clubcard-only offers.
Major investors also have told Murphy that paying dividends to Covid-hit shareholders and selling off its banking arm should be at the top of his in-tray.
Last year, Tesco sold its mortgage book to Lloyds for £3.8 billion, while it also recently sold its operations in Thailand and Malaysia for around £8 billion.
with PA Wires