Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent has emailed staff explaining his exit was evidence that “Tesco is fundamentally a company of principles”.

Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent is to stand down

Broadbent revealed yesterday that he would leave, as the grocer disclosed interim results that had been delayed after Tesco was engulfed in an accounting scandal.

In his email to Tesco staff Broadbent emphasised his confidence that new chief executive Dave Lewis would restore Tesco’s fortunes and address the damaging business culture that had developed.

Broadbent wrote: “In our interim results announcement I made it clear that I judged this to be the right time to start an orderly process to find my successor.

“I did not have to do this. However, I felt as a matter of principle it was right as your chairman to accept accountability on behalf of the board for recent events. Despite everything, I know that Tesco is fundamentally a company of principles and it is right that this should be demonstrated at this moment.

“The last three years have been tough but important for all of us. Everything the board have done has been considered and implemented with the interests of the company front and foremost. Not every decision has been easy, but none has been ducked.

“I am grateful for having had the opportunity to work with so many talented people around the business and on the board. I continue to be impressed by the determination, service and thoughtfulness which I have witnessed, and which embody the values of our company.

“I know that in Dave Lewis we have a CEO who will lead the Tesco business to future success, create a culture we can be proud of, and rebuild trust in our brand and with our customers.

“I will continue to work with Dave and my colleagues on the board until we appoint my successor, which will not happen until I am satisfied that the transition to new senior management is complete and we have business plans in place.”