Tesco has announced the resignation of Dave Lewis as Group CEO of Tesco. He will leave the business next year and succeeded by Ken Murphy - outgoing chief commercial officer and president global brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Lewis’ departure was announced as Tesco reported a 6.7% rise in first-half profits to £494m.
John Allan, chairman, said of the departure:
“Dave has done an outstanding job in rebuilding Tesco since 2014 and he continues to have unwavering support from the Board. Some time ago, however, he indicated to me that he was considering the best time to hand over to a successor. His openness allowed me to begin a thorough and orderly process to identify a potential candidate to replace him. As a result, today, we have appointed Ken Murphy to succeed Dave as Group CEO of Tesco next summer.
“Today’s results confirm that the Tesco turnaround has been delivered. Under Dave’s leadership Tesco has transformed customer satisfaction and rebuilt the business. We can now move forward with renewed confidence. We have an exceptional leadership team, a very clear strategy, a re-invigorated brand and financial strength.”
Dave Lewis, outgoing chief executive, added:
“My decision to step down as Group CEO is a personal one. 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. The Tesco brand is stronger and customer satisfaction is the highest it has been for many years. Colleagues are doing an extraordinary job and their expertise shows in every store and channel every day.
"With these firm foundations and a competitive, sustainable growth strategy in place, I have no doubt that Tesco will kick on again under new leadership next year. When that time comes, I will watch progress from outside with interest, deep affection and pride. In the meantime, you can be sure that I will give the job everything I have until my very last day.
Tough decisions under Lewis' reign included the loss of 4,500 staff in 153 Tesco Metro announced in August and the launch of grocery retailer Jacks, Tesco's own discount chain.
Allan describes Ken as a "growth-orientated business leader. He has deep commercial, marketing and brand experience within retail and wholesale businesses, first with Alliance Unichem, and then with Boots. He was Joint Chief Operating Officer at Boots UK & Ireland before rising to Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer and President Global Brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance."