Tesco chair steps down following misconduct allegations
Tesco has announced that John Allan will be stepping as chair and as a director of Tesco at the supermarket’s AGM on 19 June.
The news follows four allegations made in the media in recent weeks in relation to Allan’s personal conduct. Tesco said three of the allegations have vigorously denied by Allan while the fourth has seen him “unreservedly apologise” for the comment he made.
Due to one of the allegations relating to the Tesco’s AGM in 2022, the supermarket immediately conducted a review of the allegation. Tesco said the review has not identified any evidence or complaints in relation to Allan at the meeting or at all in his tenure as Tesco chair.
Allan was appointed in 2015 and his tenure as chair was due to end shortly. The supermarket had already initiated a succession planning process.
Pending the appointment of a new permanent chair, Tesco senior independent director Byron Grote has now been named as interim chair and chair of the audit committee. He will be replaced in these positions by Stewart Gilliland and Karen Whitworth respectively. These appointments are effective from 16 June and, on the appointment of the new permanent chair, each will revert to their prior board position. Meanwhile Grote will chair this year’s AGM.
Grote said: “John has made a valuable contribution to Tesco during his 8 years as chair. He has successfully led the board through the turnaround and Covid whilst helping to rebuild the business. While we have received no complaints about John’s conduct and made no findings of wrongdoing, these allegations risk becoming a distraction to Tesco. On behalf of the board, I thank him for his substantial contribution to the business. We are well advanced in our search for a new chair and will make an announcement in due course.”
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