The new man at Tesco: 'Drastic' Dave Lewis is a bloke with a marathon ahead
“Andy”, “Mike”, “Phil”. Supermarkets like to hire dependable, blokey bosses with dependable, blokey names.
Now that trio (respectively, Clarke, Coupe and Clarke again at Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco) are to be joined by “Dave”.
Dave Lewis arrives in October with the immense task of turning round a global business that has been underperforming for years, with possibly decades of scrimping on stores in the UK needing to be unwound.
The marathon runner will need to strain every sinew if he is to make a significant impact on a business with the wrong stores, in the wrong places, in the wrong economic environment.
Mr Lewis, 49, has faced big challenges before. At Unilever, where he worked since leaving Trent Polytechnic in 1987, he has turned around several big businesses – sometimes ruthlessly enough to earn him the soubriquet “Drastic Dave”.
He has also been posted around the world at the consumer goods giant where he ran such brands as Pot Noodle and Cornetto. Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Indonesia all came under his watch during nine years overseas before he returned to run home and personal care brands in the UK.
Whether he can transfer what he has learnt as a marketeer to retailing is not clear. There were many doubters in the City yesterday. Tesco stressed he had worked with it for years as a supplier. But turning around the company is a far bigger job than that, as Drastic Dave is about to learn.
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
- 5 Man hospitalised with pneumonia after downing eggnog at office Christmas party
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
iJobs Money & Business
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...