Tesco’s Chief Exec Dave Lewis is to leave his post next summer. As reported on the BBC on October 2nd, Mr Lewis, who came from Unilever in 2014, said his decision was personal. The news came as Tesco reported a 6.7% rise in first-half profits to £494m. Dave took charge at a tumultuous time, with Tesco announcing shortly after he arrived that it had been overstating its profits. Ken Murphy, who has held senior positions at Walgreens Boots Alliance, will replace Dave.
Mr Lewis said: “I believe a chief executive’s tenure should be finite and now is the right time. The turnaround is complete, we have delivered all the metrics.”
Analysts at Shore Capital called Dave Lewis “the bloke that saved Tesco.”
Since then Mr Lewis has been cutting costs, with the latest job cuts announced in August when Tesco said 4,500 staff in 153 Tesco Metro stores would go.
Dave Lewis also took on Aldi and Lidl by opening Jacks, Tesco’s discount chain. He also orchestrated Tesco’s 2017 Booker takeover, in a £3.7bn deal to create the “UK’s leading food business.”
Bernstein analyst Bruno Monteyne told Radio 4’s Today there had been speculation about Mr Lewis’ future after the deal, as Booker’s chief executive Charles Wilson joined at the same time. Mr Monteyne said Dave Lewis had taken over a broken company, which went from being Europe’s most profitable retailer to having losses for the first time ever. When Mr Lewis joined Tesco from Unilever, he was the first outsider to run the supermarket chain.