Tesco has begun the hunt for a new chairman to take over from David Reid.

Senior director Patrick Cescau, formerly of Unilever, will lead the process. The retailer has reportedly called in headhunting consultancy Lygon Group to assist with the search.

Reid has previously indicated that he would remain in the role for a transitional period as the supermarket’s new chief executive beds in.

Philip Clarke will take over from the outgoing Sir Terry Leahy in March. It is thought Reid could stay on as chair until the summer of 2012.

He has been chairman since 2004, having joined the retailer’s board in 1985.

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