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Tesco turns to Unilever veteran as CEO Clarke exits

Tesco turns to Unilever veteran as CEO Clarke exits

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke is to exit the struggling supermarket giant.  

He will be replaced by Dave Lewis, a Unilever veteran of 28 years and currently serves as president, personal care.   

‘Having guided Tesco through a substantial re-positioning in challenging markets, Philip Clarke agreed with the board that this is the appropriate moment to hand over to a new leader with fresh perspectives and a new profile,’ Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent told the stockmarket.  

‘(Lewis) brings a wealth of international consumer experience and expertise in change management, business strategy, brand management and customer development.  He is already known to many people inside Tesco having worked with the business over many years in his roles at Unilever.   

Tesco, which has issued several profits warnings in recent years, accompanied the news with a brief trading update, in which it warned conditions remained more challenging than expected.  

Broadbent thanked Clarke for his contribution during what has been one of the more difficult periods in the firm’s history.  

Philip has done a huge amount to set a clear direction and re-position Tesco to meet the rapid changes taking place in the retail market,’ Broadbent said.  

‘He has achieved a great deal across all areas of the business in the face of considerable pressures.’

Clarke said he felt the time was right to hand over the reins. ‘Having taken the business through the huge challenges of the last few years, I think this is the right moment to hand over responsibility and I am delighted that Dave Lewis has agreed to join us. 

‘Dave has worked with Tesco directly or indirectly over many years and is well-known within the business.  I will do everything in my power to support him in taking the company forward through the next stage of its journey.’

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