Tesco has named Sir Richard Broadbent as its next chairman – on the day Philip Clarke looked to kickstart his tenure as chief executive with a new seven-point strategy for the business.
Sir Richard, deputy chairman of banking giant Barclays, joins the board as a non-executive director on 2 July and will take over from David Reid on 30 November.
News of the appointment comes Clarke outlined his new strategy for the retail giant in a memo to senior staff. Stressing the need to “nurture” the underperforming UK business, Clarke said there would be no “change of direction but there will be a slight change of emphasis”.
That revamped strategy includes a pledge to be a “creator of highly valued brands”, in particular in clothing and non-food. The move comes after a sluggish performance by Tesco’s non-food business was blamed for a 0.7% fall in like-for-like UK quarterly sales in Tesco’s most recent results.
“As people develop their higher levels of disposable income they want to treat themselves,” Clarke wrote.
“They do not want to just buy Tesco Value shower gel. They want to have something sat in their bathroom that looks like it is a brand. So you create brands.”
Other commitments included a pledge, previously reported, to take Tesco online in all the markets where it currently operates.
Commenting on the appointment of Sir Richard, Reid said: “Good management succession is very important to Tesco and this appointment is the result of a thorough process led by [senior director] Patrick Cescau and endorsed by all members of the board.”
Sir Richard said: “I am delighted to be joining the Board of an innovative and growing global business. I look forward to working with a great team and playing my part in helping guide Tesco to further success in the future.”
Clarke concedes ‘We must do better’ as Tesco falters in fourth quarter (19 April 2011)
Second Opinion: Tesco’s engine needs fine-tuning (12 March 2011)
Tesco tipped to gun for low-price rivals as Clarke takes helm (28 February 2011)