Business Irish

Tuesday 15 October 2019

New chief named for Tesco Ireland

Tony Keohane, CEO of Tesco Ireland
Tony Keohane, CEO of Tesco Ireland

John Mulligan and Sarah McCabe

TONY Keohane, chief executive of Tesco's Irish operation, is stepping down from the role in July when he will be replaced by Englishman Phillip J Clarke.

His successor was most recently involved in Tesco's business in Japan.

Mr Keohane (59) will remain at Tesco as non-executive chairman. The former Quinnsworth executive has been CEO at Tesco Ireland since 2006. He joined the board after the British retailer acquired Quinnsworth in 1997 to gain a foothold here.

A Cork native, he is a big supporter of Munster rugby and was recently appointed a member of the team's non-executive commercial board.

Tesco, which is Ireland's biggest grocery retailer and has 142 stores employing 15,000 people, has seen its market share slip in recent months.

Figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel this week show that its share of the multi-billion euro market fell to 27.6pc from 28.4pc in the 12 weeks to May 12. Its closest rival, Dunnes Stores, saw its market share fall from 22.4pc to 22.1pc.

AUSTERITY

German discounters Aldi and Lidl have been increasing their market share as consumers hunt for value amid austerity.

"Tony Keohane (below)

has managed Tesco Ireland in a period of unprecedented pressure and turmoil," said Clive Black of retail analysts Shore Cap.

"Indeed, it is probably reasonable to assert that he has had to steer the business through a perfect economic and commercial storm, from the collapse of the European economy and Ireland's deep spending cuts to the rise of Aldi and Lidl and the industry-wide horse meat scandal," Mr Black added.

Mr Keohane's successor – not to be confused with Tesco group chief executive Philip A Clarke – has been with Tesco in Britain since 1974. In 2005 he was appointed as a director for Tesco in its combined Czech and Slovak businesses and in 2010 was appointed chief executive of Tesco in the Czech Republic.

In 2012, he was named chief executive of Tesco's business in Japan.

Irish Independent

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