Tesco will replace its outgoing CEO with its head of group IT.
Philip Clarke currently has responsibility for Tesco’s international operations in Asia and Europe, as well as group IT. He will replace CEO Sir Terry Leahy who is set to retire in March 2011.
The move shows the importance of IT to Tesco's business.
Clarke has been a Tesco employee for 29 years, working at the company throughout his school and university years. He joined the Tesco Board in 1998, and in 2003 went on to take on the role of director of logistics and IT as well as director of distribution, supply chain and logistics.
“I am very excited by the opportunity to lead such a fantastic team of executives, many of whom I've worked with for years. Together we will build a global business which focuses on the customer.”
Sir Terry Leahy will retire after 14 years as CEO and gave his backing to the former IT chief.
This follows a busy 18 months for Tesco in terms of IT implementation. The company launched two new websites in 2009, and posted revenue growth of 14 per cent and a 26 per cent increase in profit to £136m from its online operations last year.
Last year the company implemented technology that allows price matching on substitutions, which helped reduce calls to the service centre; it also implemented technology that improved driving and routing efficiency and reduced costs and carbon emissions per order by more than 20 per cent over three years according to the company.
The retailer has made various other changes to its board.
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