Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Tesco is five years into a recovery plan launched by Lewis after an accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in trading. Successor Ken Murphy, a former executive at health care group Walgreens Boots Alliance, will become the second outsider to lead Tesco, following in the footsteps of former Unilever executive Lewis.
Like Lewis, 52-year-old Murphy has experience in the consumer goods industry, key suppliers to supermarkets, having started his career at Procter & Gamble.
“Now is the right time for me to pass on the baton, our turnaround is complete,” Lewis said.
Murphy led the turnaround of Alliance UniChem in Italy, then shared the top operations job at Boots UK and Ireland before going on to become executive vice president, chief commercial officer and president of global brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Murphy left that position at the end of 2018, retaining a consultancy role with the U.S. retailer.