One of the eight Tesco executives that were suspended during the fraud investigation, has returned to his post. Purchasing director Matt Simister has been fully reinstated by CEO Dave Lewis.
Simister return is boost for Lewis
British media quote an internal email from Lewis, wherein he announces Simister's return as group food sourcing director. "During our work it became clear that Matt, in fact, worked tirelessly to resolve the issues we faced", Lewis said.
"Matt's conduct and contribution during our investigation was exemplary and I'd like to personally thank him for that. [...] Matt is one of our most capable leaders, and I am confident his leadership will support our agenda in commercial going forward."
Simister got suspended in September, as part of the fraud investigation. The return of this experienced executive is a huge boost for Lewis as the suspension of eight important executives really hindered Tesco in this important holiday season.
New board on 1 January 2015
Simister may have returned, but four other executives have left the company while three others are still suspended. It is unclear who has left and Tesco refused to comment on the situation. As long as the investigation is still ongoing and there is no indication about their possible implication, they will remain suspended.
Tesco also announced its new board, which will start work on 1 January 2015. There will be no more chief creative officer or group business planning and strategy positions. Both directors, who had previously filled these positions (and are not part of the eight suspensions), will shortly leave the company.
Lewis will temporarily lead Tesco UK
CEO Dave Lewis will also take lead of Tesco UK's operations. That is also clear evidence that Chris Bush, former Tesco UK director, is one of the suspended managers who has left the company for good.
Lewis taking charge of the day-to-day operations at Tesco UK will only be a temporary measure. One of his first major challenges in 2015 is to find a good director for this particular branch: a heavy-weight manager with plenty of retail experience, someone the heavily-burdened Tesco UK desperately needs.