Tesco CEO Dave Lewis to step down in 2020

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LONDON (Reuters) – Tesco (L:), Britain’s biggest retailer, said on Wednesday its chief executive Dave Lewis will step down next summer and be succeeded by Ken Murphy, an executive at Walgreens Boots Alliance (O:).

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Tesco, which has a 27.4% share of Britain’s grocery market, is at the back end of a recovery plan under Lewis that was instigated after a 2014 accounting scandal capped a dramatic downturn in its fortunes.

The group has met the majority of its turnaround goals, including a key margin target of earning between 3.5 pence and 4 pence of operating profit for every pound customers spend.

Lewis’ planned exit after six years at the group came as Tesco reported a better-than-expected first-half operating profit before one of items of 1.406 billion pounds, a rise of 25.4%.

“With the turnaround complete and as we begin to implement the next steps of our sustainable growth strategy, now is the right time to plan a smooth and orderly succession,” said Lewis.

“As such, I will step down as group CEO next summer and pass the baton to Ken Murphy.”

Murphy was joint chief operating officer at Boots UK & Ireland before rising to executive vice president, chief commercial officer and president global brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

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