Retail appointments

Outgoing Tesco boss Dave Lewis

Lewis leaves Tesco, declaring victory

Tesco boss Dave Lewis, who is credited with saving Britain’s biggest retailer from collapse in 2014, has surprised the retail world by stepping down as chief executive, declaring the company’s turnaround complete.

Lewis says he has no new job lined up and is just taking a break to recharge after the enormous task of rescuing Tesco. The venerable retailer is five years into a recovery plan launched by Lewis after an accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading.

His successor will be Ken Murphy, described by The Guardian as a “Boots lifer”. Although Murphy has little experience in the UK grocery industry, he led the turnaround of Alliance UniChem in Italy, then shared the top operations job at Boots UK and Ireland before going on to become executive vice-president, chief commercial officer and president of global brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Tesco shares, which had almost halved in the months before Lewis started his turnaround, have climbed 40 per cent on his watch, the newspaper reports. And although the business has apparently been saved, it is much smaller and less profitable than it was a decade ago, largely as a result of Lewis shutting down and selling operations, and cutting prices to compete with Aldi and Lidl.

Its shares are worth only 60 per cent of their value a decade ago.

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Nespresso’s Brazil boss to run Oceania

Nespresso has announced Jean-Marc Dragoli, the managing director of the company’s Brazilian operations, as general manager for Oceania.

Dragoli is now based in Sydney and aims to build on the double-digit growth achieved in his previous role.

Dragoli has been with Nestlé Nespresso since 2007 in senior management roles, most recently in São Paulo, Brazil, and before that in Barcelona, Dubai and Mexico. He has been associated with the wider Nestlé company since 2000.

“I know Australians and New Zealanders are true coffee connoisseurs and I am looking forward to working with colleagues across Oceania to offer the highest quality sustainable coffee and service to people at home, in the workplace, at hotels and fine dining establishments,” Dragoli said.

He is taking over from former general manager Loïc Réthoré and says he will focus on building good customer experience and driving business innovation and sustainability efforts in Australia.

Nespresso Oceania is known for its Vertuo coffee system, subscription services and boutiques, including the new flagship boutique on George Street in Sydney.

Struggling Asos revamps board

Online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos has named four new independent non-executive directors, seeking to tap into their experience to revive the business following its second profit warning in 10 months.

Ocado Solutions CEO Luke Jensen will sit on the revamped board, which has been expanded from four to six members. The other three new directors are Sky executive Mai Fyfield, former Burberry executive Eugenia Ulasewicz and Micro Focus executive Karen Geary.

Jensen will sit on the audit and nomination committees along with Geary and Ulasewicz, while Fyfield will join the audit and remuneration committees.

Two existing directors, Hilary Riva and Rita Clifton, will leave in April 2020 after their six-year tenures.

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