Trevor Masters

Trevor Masters has been touted for the MD role

Tesco CEO Dave Lewis is close to appointing a new UK MD to replace Chris Bush, who left the company for good last week as investigations continue into the £263m black hole in its finances.

Lewis said he expected to make an appointment “within the next couple of months,” stressing his own hands-on control of the UK operation was a “temporary thing”.

Trevor Masters, currently Tesco’s CEO for Asia has been mentioned as a possible internal candidate, with ex-Unilever man Lewis expected to turn to someone with a strong retail background.

Tesco’s London boss Andrew Yaxley, previously fresh food and frozen commercial director, was described by one source as a “strong possibility”. Ken Towle, MD of Central Europe and Turkey, is also on the list.

Externally, former Sainsbury’s and Asda director Stuart Machin, the MD of Australian discount department store Target, has been mentioned, as has Wesfarmers commercial director Ian McLeod.

Other possible candidates include John Dixon, head of non-food at Marks & Spencer, and its current executive food boss Steve Rowe.