Dave Lewis's shock departure announcement from Tesco, took the industry by surprise earlier this week. After 5 years at the helm since joining from Unilever, he has been credited with helping to turn around Tesco's fortunes since the infamous accounting scandal of 2014. During the course of his tenure, he has been credited with 2018's £4bn Booker acquisition, helping to lead UK grocery's sustainability and food waste reduction agenda, and steering the Tesco ship back into profitable waters. Needless to say his stock has risen considerably, and the industry will be watching with a keen eye to see where he pops up next.
With Aldi planning to open up a new store a week in the UK, on average over the next 2 years, and with a big focus on London, perhaps Lewis sees stormy waters ahead, and wanted to leave on a high.
Tesco have acted surprisingly quickly to name a successor, with Chairman John Allan selecting Boots veteran Ken Murphy as the new CEO. Let's hope he keeps up the same focus and momentum on the sustainability agenda that his predecessor had!