British retailer Tesco will replace CEO Philip Clarke on 1 October with Unilever's Dave Lewis after disappointing results and another profit alert.
Tesco follows Morrisons' example
It is remarkable that Tesco has turned to a supplier for a new CEO, a bold move triggered by disappointing results. The new CEO, Dave Lewis, will leave Unilever after 28 years, similar to what competitor Morrisons had done in 2006 when it brought in Marc Bolland from Heineken.
Apparently, Tesco's board believes Lewis will be able to improve and solidify the company's leading position in the retail market, something Philip Clarke also was aiming for even though he asked for patience and a long-term view from its board and shareholders, but to no avail.
Clarke will be CEO until 1 October and will support Lewis until January 2015, to help ease him into the position. Lewis currently leads Unilever's personal-care unit and is said to lack retail experience, but Tesco does not believe this will be a hindrance. "David is absolutely the leader in brand management and brand identity, communication, customer development, customer management. Tesco is not short of retail skills", Richard Broadbent (Tesco's non-executive chairman) said.