Tesco shareholders are putting new chairman Sir Richard Broadbent under pressure over the company’s strategy.

The grocer’s shareholders met with Broadbent to seek reassurance that he will reform the culture within the business, the Financial Times reports.

One of the grocer’s largest shareholders said former boss Sir Terry Leahy has left the grocer’s chief executive Philip Clarke with a tough job to turnaround the fortunes of Tesco’s UK business.

He said: “It is a hospital pass. Turning the group around will take at least three years.

“And the culture is not that of a world-class business. Tesco is defensive, inward-looking and doesn’t have a clear strategy.”

One top 20 investor claimed Broadbent had admitted improvements needed to be made “to the corporate culture, starting with the board of directors” at Tesco.

A spokesman for Tesco said: “We stay close to investors and know what they expect of Tesco.

“We began our investment plan for the UK last summer, accelerated the pace in January and have already announced important initiatives including a major investment in price, 20,000 more staff in stores and the launch of the Everyday Value range. We will set out the plan in more detail to investors later this month.”