Wednesday 24 April 2019

Tesco Ireland boss Yaxley is promoted in reshuffle

Tesco Ireland CEO Andrew Yaxley
Tesco Ireland CEO Andrew Yaxley
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Tesco's boss in Ireland, Andrew Yaxley, has been named group chief product officer at the retailer in a promotion that also sees him join the executive committee and reporting directly to CEO Dave Lewis.

Tesco is likely to name Mr Yaxley's successor here in the coming weeks. Mr Yaxley takes up his new role next Monday.

It's understood that Mr Yaxley (51), pictured, will remain living in Ireland despite his new position.

He is married to an Irishwoman and has three children.

Mr Yaxley joined Tesco in 2001, and previously worked for Mars.

He previously held roles at Tesco including the managing director of its London business, UK commercial director of fresh foods, and commercial director of the Czech and Slovak republics.

He succeeded Phil Clarke in 2015, as Tesco endured a bruising time in the Irish grocery market.

For many years, Tesco's Irish business had been the most profitable division within the group, but was under intense pressure, especially as the downturn played into the hands of German chains Aldi and Lidl.

In 2015 it lost its long-held crown as Ireland's biggest grocery retailer.

But a concerted effort to push value brands and lure customers saw it regain the position last month.

According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, it had a 22.4pc market share during the 12-weeks to June 17. That compares to the 21.8pc share held by SuperValu, and the 21.7pc that Dunnes Stores has. Kantar Worldpanel said that in the 12-week period, Tesco saw 1.3 million shoppers pass through its doors.

The chain has also focused on store upgrades and introducing new products in order to appeal to customers.

"Although the grocer has not notably increased this shopper base compared to this time last year, Tesco has encouraged customers to add an extra item to their baskets every time they shop - upping their average spend by 80c to €25.50," noted Kantar Worldpanel director David Berry when the figures were released last week. Mr Yaxley's new appointment comes amid a reshuffle prompted by a cancer diagnosis received by Tesco UK and Ireland CEO Charles Wilson.

As Mr Wilson continues to battle the illness, he's relinquishing that role, but remaining on the group's executive committee.

Mr Wilson will now focus on leading the Booker business, continuing to deliver the cost synergies and driving the growth agenda set out in the merger agreement, according to Tesco.

Tesco completed its acquisition of Booker in May.

Jason Tarry, currently group chief product officer, will become the chief executive of Tesco's UK and Ireland business.

Irish Independent

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