The UK’s largest grocer Tesco has hired Burberry chair Gerry Murphy to replace John Allan, who stepped down from the retailer after allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Murphy, who is chair of the British luxury fashion brand and sugar company Tate & Lyle, is set to join Tesco on September 1, stepping down from his role at Tate & Lyle in the process.

Allan, who chaired Tesco for eight years, stepped away from the business at the recent annual general meeting in June, following reports initially broken in The Guardian that he had allegedly inappropriately touched a senior member of staff at the grocer at the 2022 AGM.

Murphy was previously chief executive of B&Q owner Kingfisher, media group Carlton Communications, logistics firm Exel and Irish food business Greencore Group. Before that, Murphy ran private equity group Blackstone’s European arm and had his first job at Bank of Ireland.

Murphy also founded, and later sold, several businesses, including Great Gas Petroleum.

Murphy said: “I am delighted to join the Tesco board as its chair. Tesco has a very important role to play in its markets, serving customers, communities and the planet a little better every day. I’m fully committed to helping Ken [Murphy, chief executive] and the Tesco team deliver on this purpose and very excited about the strategic opportunities for growth across the Tesco group.

“I also want to pay tribute to my predecessor, John Allan, who I have known for many years. John has left Tesco with its business, management and board in great shape and fit for the future.”