Tesco has restructured its senior management team - and replaced its under-fire UK COO Bob Robbins.

Robbins has been given a new strategic role reporting directly to CEO Philip Clarke as the retailer bids to restore momentum to its domestic business, which has been under scrutiny following poor results.

The move comes just two weeks after Robbins hit the headlines for selling shares in the supermarket ahead of its recent profits warning.

Robbins, who Clarke insisted would continue to play an important role, will be succeeded as COO by Tesco veteran Chris Bush, who returns to the UK from a stint heading up the Thai business. Slovakia chief John Christie will step in for Bush in Thailand.

“As we move closer to the new financial year, I have reflected on the changing needs of the business and I have asked Bob Robbins to change his executive committee accountabilities,” Clarke told staff in an internal memo.

UK CEO Richard Brasher added: “Last month, we set out our determination to invest in the UK business. These changes give the UK board the combined strength of a very experienced leader of change and a talented country CEO who has done an extraordinary job.”

Robbins sold shares worth £200,000 just eight days before Tesco unveiled a sharp fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas. He became UK COO last March, having previously held roles including head of Tesco’s Central and Eastern European business.