Tesco UK chief executive Richard Brasher has stepped down from the troubled grocery giant’s board with immediate effect and leave in July.

His sensational departure follows a slowdown in Tesco’s performance in its core domestic market and a profit warning after Christmas.

Tesco group chief executive Philip Clarke will assume responsibility for the UK and driving improvements in customer experience and service standards.

Clarke said: “I have decided to assume responsibility as chief executive of our UK business at this very important time.  

“This greater focus will allow me to oversee the improvements that are so important for customers.

“I completely understand why Richard has decided to leave and want to thank him for the great contribution he has made over many years. The depth of management at Tesco and the strong leadership team across the group allow me to take a more active role in the UK whilst our other businesses continue to grow.

“Richard has been an architect of our successful format strategy; a true innovator with both Clubcard and the Dunnhumby partnership; and over the last ten years has led the transformation of our non-food business and the creation of international sourcing.

“He will leave behind a UK business which has very strong plans for improvement, and over the last two months these plans are beginning to show progress, in line with our expectations.  

“I am more determined than ever that these improvements in the UK will result in a better Tesco and an even better shopping trip for customers.”