Business

Tesco names Dixons executive as new chairman

Tesco trolleys Image copyright EPA

Tesco has named John Allan as its new chairman after a four month search.

Mr Allan, deputy chair of electrical retailer Dixons Carphone and chair of housing firm Barratt Developments, will join the supermarket chain on 1 March.

Tesco chair Richard Broadbent said he would quit in October after a shock accounting scandal, which saw the chain overstate its profits by some £263m.

The chain has been battling both falling sales and profits, and issued four profit warnings last year.

However, recent data showed an improvement, with Tesco's sales growing 0.3% in the 12 weeks to 1 February, the first sales rise since January 2014, a survey by the research firm Kantar Worldpanel suggested.

'Critical time'

Mr Allan said he was "very pleased" to be taking on the role at "such a critical time for the business".

"I am sure that his wide expertise, his experience and his personal qualities will contribute greatly to the future of the group," added current chairman Mr Broadbent.

Mr Allan's appointment marks the latest in a series of senior personnel changes following the accounting scandal, which led to the suspension of eight executives.

In January, Tesco announced that Matt Davies, the boss of Halfords Group, will be taking charge of its operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland from June.

Chief executive Dave Lewis, who himself joined the retail giant from consumer goods firm Unilever just six months ago, has already introduced a series of price cuts and announced plans to close 43 loss-making stores, as well as shelving plans to open a further 49 new "very large" stores.

Tesco's senior independent director Patrick Cescau said that Mr Allan's appointment had been a unanimous decision after "a deep and thorough" selection process.

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