David Lewis will step down as Group CEO of Tesco in the summer of 2020. He will be succeeded by Ken Murphy, who was most recently Chief Commercial Officer, President of Global Brands and EVP at Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Lewis took the CEO role at Tesco in 2014 as the retailer was struggling with a profit downturn. Tesco has since undergone a turnaround effort, and group sales were up 0.6% in the first half of 2019-2020, with sales in Asia up 8.4%. Additionally, customer satisfaction levels were up eight points across all channels compared to the previous year.
“My decision to step down as Group CEO is a personal one,” said Lewis in a statement. “I believe that the tenure of the CEO should be a finite one and that now is the right time to pass the baton. Our turnaround is complete, we have delivered all the metrics we set for ourselves. The leadership team is very strong, our strategy is clear and it is delivering. The Tesco brand is stronger and customer satisfaction is the highest it has been for many years. Colleagues are doing an extraordinary job and their expertise shows in every store and channel every day.”
Lewis brings years of retail and wholesale experience to his post, including as Joint Chief Operating Officer at Boots UK & Ireland prior to its merger with Walgreens. When he takes the new job, it’s likely he will oversee the company’s rollout of its app-based cashierless checkout technology, which can be retrofitted into existing stores to let shoppers skip the line.