Newspaper article International New York Times

Tesco Names New Chairman ; as Market Share Declines, Retailer Turns to Leader of Electronics Company

Newspaper article International New York Times

Tesco Names New Chairman ; as Market Share Declines, Retailer Turns to Leader of Electronics Company

Article excerpt

The British retailing giant said on Thursday that John Allan, a deputy chairman of the electronics company Dixons Carphone, would take over on March 1.

Tesco, the embattled British retailing giant, said on Thursday that John Allan, a deputy chairman of the electronics company Dixons Carphone, would take over as chairman on March 1.

The appointment comes at a crucial juncture for Tesco, the largest retailer in Britain, which has been mired in investigations concerning a Pounds 263 million, or $404 million, overstatement of profit, and which has been steadily losing market share.

Tesco is being investigated on several fronts, including by the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Reporting Council and the Groceries Code Adjudicator, which regulates deals between big supermarkets and their suppliers.

Mr. Allan will take over from Richard Broadbent, who announced his resignation in October as a result of the firestorm over the company's accounting irregularities.

Dave Lewis, formerly of Unilever, took over as Tesco's chief executive in September, a month earlier than expected. Mr. Lewis has announced sweeping changes at the company, including closing more than 40 stores; shuttering the head office in Cheshunt, England; cutting thousands of jobs; and selling noncore assets.

The efforts may be starting to turn things around. Recent data from Kantar Worldpanel, a data provider, showed that Tesco's sales grew 0.3 percent in the 12 weeks to Feb. 1, while those of its competitors lagged. The company still lost 0.2 percent of market share, however, and controlled 29 percent of the market at the end of the period.

The Tesco share price, which was less than half what it was a year ago, has been rising this week. The trend continued in afternoon trading on Wednesday in London, with shares flat at 244 pence. …

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