Gerry Murphy

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Tesco has appointed Gerry Murphy as its new chairman to replace scandal-hit John Allan, who stepped down from the retailer in June following allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Murphy is currently chairman of fashion house Burberry and ingredients firm Tate & Lyle. He will step down from the board of the latter on 1 September when he takes up the new role at Tesco.

Tesco said that Murphy had “extensive global leadership experience in both executive and non-executive roles”.

He has previously served as a non-executive director at British American Tobacco, Merlin Entertainments, Novar, Abbey National and Reckitt Benckiser.

His most recent executive role was as group chief executive of Kingfishe and has previously led Carlton Communications, Exel and Greencore Group.

Tesco interim chairman Byron Grote said the board was “delighted” that Murphy was joining the company following “an extensive” search.

“He was the unanimous choice of the board and will bring to our board a record of strong and effective boardroom leadership and a deep understanding of retail and consumer-focused businesses and corporate governance,” he added.

“I know he will be a great support to Ken Murphy and our management team, who welcome his appointment.”

Murphy said: “Tesco has a very important role to play in its markets, serving customers, communities and the planet a little better every day.

“I’m fully committed to helping Ken and the Tesco team deliver on this purpose and very excited about the strategic opportunities for growth across the Tesco group. I also want to pay tribute to my predecessor, John Allan, whom I have known for many years.

“John has left Tesco with its business, management and board in great shape and fit for the future.”

Upon Murphy’s appointment, Grote will step down from his role as interim chairman and revert to his previous position as senior independent director and chairman of the audit committee.

Murphy will also become chairman of the nominations and governance committee upon his appointment.

In a separate announcement to the stock exchange this morning, Tate & Lyle said it had begun a search to appoint a successor to Murphy, who has chaired the group for more than six years.

The Tate & Lyle board appointed Warren Tucker, who is currently chairman of the audit committee, as interim chairman.

Tate CEO Nick Hampton said: “Gerry has made a significant contribution to Tate & Lyle over the last six years. He has led the board expertly through a major strategic transformation to reposition Tate & Lyle as a growth-focused global speciality food and beverage solutions business meeting growing consumer demand for healthier and tastier food and drink.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside him. On behalf of the board, we thank him for his leadership and wish him well in his new role.”

Morning update

Shares in AIM-listed Science in Sport have been suspended this morning as the performance nutrition group failed to publish audited accounts for the year ended 31 December 2022 by the six-month deadline.

The business said final sign off from its auditors was still “outstanding”.

Shares in the group, which have plunged by 72% to 12.5p in the past year, were suspended at 8am this morning and will remain so until the accounts are published, which Science in Sport said was expected “imminently”.

Grocery tech group Eagle Eye has secured a five-year contract with Morrisons to further develop the supermarket’s loyalty and promotional offering.

The AIR platform would will enhance the Morrisons loyalty programme, allowing customers to benefit from exclusive prices and earn points on selected products in store, online and on fuel, Eagle Eye said in the stock exchange statement.

The new offering would also create more ways of engaging with customers, and help the supermarket scale the number of broadcast and targeted offers available, giving customers “more reasons to shop at Morrisons”, the group added.

The scheme will be rolled out to all 499 stores nationwide and is expected to go live later in 2023.

Rachel Eyre, Morrisons chief customer and marketing officer, said: “This has been a transformational year for our More Card loyalty scheme, and we are very pleased to be working with Eagle Eye, who are an acknowledged leader in this field, as we implement our plans to develop the scheme still further for our customers.”

Eagle Eye CEO Tim Mason said: “We are excited to have won this multi-year contract with Morrisons, one of the UK’s leading supermarkets, and look forward to supporting their commitment to helping customers make every penny go further, saving them money on the everyday items they want and need.

“We are proud that our platform is supporting the exciting pace of innovation taking place across the retail sector, at a time when providing value for consumers has never been more important.”

The FTSE 100 is up 0.3% to 7,551.65pts this morning.

Shares in Tesco opened 0.9% higher to 250.3p as the markets digested news of the group’s new chairman, while Tate & Lyle’s stock fell 0.4% to 723p.

Sainsbury’s jumped 1.2% to 272.2p ahead of tomorrow’s Q1 results.

Other early risers include Just Eat Takeaway, up 2.7% to 1,241p, Nichols, up 2.6% to 989.4p, and Greencore, up 2.1% to 74.7p.

Fallers so far include Glanbia, down 3.1% to €13.13, Wynnstay Group, down 2.2% to 462.1p, and Fever-Tree, down 0.9% to 1,208p.

This week in the City

The big news this week is the Sainsbury’s first-quarter results out tomorrow morning.

M&S also holds its AGM tomorrow and wholesaler Kitwave files interim results.

Vape group Supreme releases full-year details on Wednesday, while Naked Wines and PayPoint are due to publish annual results on Thursday.