Tesco Ireland appoints new chief executive

Philip J Clarke will be replaced by managing director of Tesco’s London business

Philip J Clarke, who was appointed chief executive of Tesco Ireland less than two years ago, is leaving the role. (Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times)

Philip J Clarke, who was appointed chief executive of Tesco Ireland less than two years ago, is leaving the role. (Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times)

 

Phil J Clarke, who was appointed chief executive of Tesco Ireland less than two years ago, is leaving the company. He will be replaced next month by Andrew Yaxley, currently the managing director of Tesco’s London business.

Mr Clarke announced on Wednesday his intention to retire from the role. A 40-year veteran of Tesco, he was appointed to replace long-serving head of the Irish business, Tony Keohane, in July 2013.

He previously served as chief executive of Tesco’s stores in Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Japan. He was appointed to the Irish job by his namesake, Phil Clarke, who departed as Tesco group chief executive last year to be replaced by Dave Lewis.

“Having guided the company through a challenging time, the business is fundamentally stronger with clearer value offers, an improved fresh food offering and a really compelling community agenda,” said Mr Clarke.

Mr Yaxley joined Tesco in 2001 from food company, Mars. An Englishman, his wife hails from Co Wicklow.

“Over the last two years, despite challenging market circumstances, Phil has worked tirelessly to make Tesco Ireland a stronger business and I thank him for all his work,” said Mr Lewis.

The new group chief executive has wasted little time making his mark on Tesco’s senior management team.

The Irish unit, which used to be part of the wider European division, will now operate in tandem with the British operation, under the leadership of Matt Davies, who will shortly take up the role after leaving Halfords.

Trevor Masters is also to replace Ken Towle as head ofd the European division, less the Irish business.

The group has also implemented a board reshuffle, following an accounting scandal that blew up last year regarding a profits overstatement of £263 million.