Philip Clarke, the current chief executive of Tesco plc, will step down from his position in October, to be succeeded by Unilever's Dave Lewis, it was announced this morning.
Dave Lewis, the current President, Personal Care at Unilever, will join the Tesco board on 1 October as chief executive, with Clarke being kept on in a supporting role until January 2015.
In a statement, Tesco said that 'current trading conditions are more challenging than we anticipated at the time of our first quarter interim management statement on 4th June', and that the retailer's 'outlook for the full year will be influenced by the extent to which benefits from the investments we are making begin to be seen; by conditions in the overall market; and by any steps that may be taken during the remainder of the year to improve our customer offer further'.
Commenting, Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent said: "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. He has achieved a great deal across all areas of the business in the face of considerable pressures. The Board are deeply grateful to Philip for his contribution to Tesco, over the last four decades, as well as more recently as Chief Executive. His has been an outstanding achievement.
"Dave 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. The Board believes that with Dave’s leadership Tesco will sustain and improve its leading position in the retail market."
During his career Dave Lewis has been responsible for a number of business turnarounds (e.g. Home and Personal Care Central and Eastern Europe, Unilever UK/Ireland), as well as leadership in areas of significant strategic priority (e.g. Laundry Latin America, Personal Care Indonesia/ S.E. Asia and Global Personal Care).