Mar 31, 2017

Tesco boss runs into wholesale problems

Two major investors sounded the alarm this week, upbraiding the Tesco boss for channelling the retailer's cash into an uncertain venture before dealing with the inferno he was hired to extinguish. The deal neutralises the threat of a criminal prosecution against Tesco Stores, although does not address whether liability of any sort attaches to the parent or any employees or agents. "It used to be that I couldn't get good quality people to work on the Tesco account, because they knew they'd have the crap kicked out of them in every engagement," says one Tesco supplier, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive commercial negotiations. Mr Lewis has been widely praised for putting Tesco on a more sustainable footing, moving away from a business model that relied on using Tesco's huge scale to force through one-sided deals. So does Richard Cousins, the chain's former senior non-executive director who argued that Tesco should make its business "Simpler, not more complex" and who quit when the rest of the board made clear it would back the deal.

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