Steve Ewels is leaving after six years at the helm of Tesco’s ethnic foods buying and more than a decade based at Tesco’s Cheshunt HQ.

As category buying manager, Ewels headed up one of the fastest growing food categories within Tesco, which now stocks 3,600 world foods products across 21 different product groups.

Leading a commercial team of 16, he helped boost Tesco’s world foods sales from £40m to £250m. He also oversaw complex international supply chains and supplier relationships involving more than 100 suppliers.

The Loughborough University graduate left his position in September, and is expected to take up a new role in world foods next month, but no details are currently available.

Separately Tesco senior buyer Mark Grant is also leaving the retailer. After 23 years working in the local sourcing department, it is understood that he was one of 50 senior managers axed as part of a major management cull that kicked off in July.

In 2008, Tesco told MPs investigating the impact of globalisation on Wales that his role was key in ensuring the local sourcing of products in the country.

Grant recently spoke enthusiastically on the Tesco corporate website blog about his role. “It’s made much easier by the fact that I’m right here among the producers, rather than based in a big office in the city,” he said.

“I like having the flexibility to match the number of stores to the volume the supplier can offer. It means that smaller suppliers and ranges can be stocked in fewer stores, allowing the supplier to build and learn steadily with us.”