Incoming Tesco group chief executive Philip Clarke has set up an executive committee to take effect on March 1 when he succeeds Sir Terry Leahy.

The seven new members of the executive committee are Gordon Fryett, who takes responsibility for property strategy for the group, Alison Horner, recently appointed group personnel director, Trevor Masters, who is responsible for operations in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Turkey.

Also, Mike McNamara, who today is appointed chief information officer with responsibility for both IT strategy and operations across the group, Bob Robbins, who was recently appointed chief operating officer of the UK, Ken Towle, recently appointed internet retailing director, and Laura Wade-Gery, recently appointed commercial director for UK clothing, electricals and general merchandise.

Clarke said: “I am delighted that I have been able to bring together such a strong team which possesses the right blend of talent and experience needed to drive the company forward and take it to a new level. This is a formidable group of people with an enviable range of talents gleaned over many years in Tesco and other organisations, both in the UK and overseas.”

The committee will be chaired by Clarke and it will sit below the plc board. Clarke said: “Given that the size and scope of the business has grown enormously in recent years, it is now the right time to enlarge it.”

Fryett, Horner, Masters and McNamara will report to Clarke. Robbins and Wade-Gery will report to UK chief executive Richard Brasher. Towle operates in the services area and will report into Andrew Higginson.

As already revealed, Tesco will shortly be appointing a group commercial director who is also expected to join the committee.

The existing members of the executive committee also include deputy chief executive Tim Mason, Brasher, Higginson, finance officer Laurie McIlwee, corporate and legal affairs director Lucy Neville-Rolfe, and Asia chief executive David Potts.