Simon English: Tesco pays the price of Sir Terry's over-ambition
Thursday 18 April 2013
Outlook Should Tesco investors sue Sir Terry Leahy?
If this were America – let's be glad that it isn't – they probably already would have.
Sir Terry's final, hubristic act as boss of the supermarket was to lead a charge into the US, presumably on the assumption it is a nation desperately short of food, where folk just don't eat enough.
The line spun by Tesco to UK hacks and analysts – with some success – was that US supermarkets are no good. Tesco would show them how it should be done. That's got to go down in history as one of the worst misreadings of a business situation ever.
In theory, Tesco did masses of research before making the leap stateside, but it's hard to see that this research was objective, otherwise they'd have noted that lots of US supermarkets are better than ours and that Wal-Mart is quite a handy retailer and may have already spotted such opportunities for expansion as there were.
Instead, presumably, the executives dispatched to America to compile data looked for evidence to back-up what Sir Terry had already decided they were going to do anyway.
The end of Tesco's tale of over ambition came yesterday with news of the writedown for the losses in America. About £2bn in all.
Now if a banker had lost that much of shareholders' money, there's little doubt in the present climate that there would be calls for retribution of some sort.
A class-action lawsuit perhaps. The return of the knighthood.
Tesco might say that Sir Terry acted in good faith. But then, so did Fred Goodwin.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...
£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...