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Former Tesco boss Lord Ian MacLaurin backs Clarke's departure


Former Tesco chief executive Lord Ian MacLaurin has defended the ousting of Phil Clarke, despite previously calling on chairman Sir Richard Broadbent to give the former boss more time to fix the supermarket’s problems.

MacLaurin told The Independent: “I have no doubt they have made the right decision. I think the chairman and the board together with Phil discussed the matter and all agreed internally that it was the right decision to make, so I’m sure it was the best thing to do.”

The 77-year-old former boss, who grew the company into the biggest supermarket in the UK during a 38-year career, said he had absolute faith in new chief executive Dave Lewis, who joins from Unilever.

He brushed off critics who have suggested Lewis many not have the relevant retail experience, having spent his entire career with the Marmite to Persil supplier.

“Bright business people will always thrive wherever they go, so I have no concerns,” he said.

MacLaurin added he had not spoken to Clarke — who was shown the door alongside yesterday’s profit warning — following  the ousting.

Last year MacLaurin launched a scathing attack on his successor, Sir Terry Leahy, at Tesco’s AGM, saying he had “lost the plot” over a disastrous US expansion, and called for Clarke to be given more time to fix Sir Terry’s problems.