Tesco investors have lined up potential successors to boss Philip Clarke, naming Monsoon Accessorize boss John Browett as one possibility.
Although Clarke is not set to step down, there is frustration among shareholders about the lack of progress Tesco is making as this week it is set to record a 6% fall in profits, its second consecutive year of declining profits.
Investors said there were “four or five people in the frame” who could take Clarke’s role. They have also identified the head of Unilever’s personal care business Dave Lewis as a replacement to Clarke, according to the Telegraph. City sources said that other names in the frame include ex-Tesco director Tim Mason and former chief executive of Tesco’s Asia business David Potts.
One top ten investor said: “There is not much confidence that the strategy is yielding much. I think there is pressure on the board to prove the results. They should be able to attract the very best managerial talent.”
Another top ten shareholder said Clarke remains “unproven” as a chief executive. Speaking about Browett, they said: “Clearly we know Browett. He has got the marketing flair for engaging with customers and employers. But turning around Dixons and revitalising Tesco are different challenges.”
The investor said that Clarke is “not past his sell-by-date” but added: “The business is not performing as it should. Whether that is down to Phil or the management team beneath him we wait to see.”
Lewis has been at Unilever for 27 years and was previously chairman of Unilever in the UK and Ireland.