The former boss of tesco, sir Terry Leahy began an extraordinary attack on his successor Philip Clarke, stating that he “vigorously attacked” the largest British retailer, and in the last mission.
Sir Terry, who left tesco in 2011, used a rare interview to put the blame on the supermarket giant problems for Mr. Clark, whom he says “made a terrible, terrible mistake” by agreeing with criticism of Tesco and slate company during his stay. “He stood up and actively attacked their own businesses – shops are not too large, they overheat.
“I mean employees who have dedicated their lives … he said after all these years that this business was not good was completely flawed,” he told Retail week. “They lost confidence. Once the leader of the attacks on businesses your own business, there’s no going back.”
Sir Terry ran tesco for 14 years
Tesco campaigner having started his career stacking shelves at a local store in wirral, in the seventies, Mr Clarke replaced sir Terry in 2011, but was ousted in 2014 after the retailer was plunged into crisis. At the time, was marred by falling sales, profit warnings, the horsemeat scandal and the revelation of a £250m accounting black hole. Tesco announced a £6.4 bn loss, the worst results in its history, a year after his departure.
Sir Terry, who ran the company for 14 years, said that under the supervision of Mr. Clarke Tesco fell into the trap of agreeing with the critics of the retailer instead of tackling key issues.
“Tesco has always had its critics because it does not break down class barriers and some people in society who, as class barriers,” he said.
“You will never be able to convince these people, as tesco and deadly, Phil and the new Chairman sir Richard Broadbent] seem, if we agree that these people are talking about us, they love us.”
Sir Terry told Retail week, when he was in Tesco found the things that make life a little better for their customers.
This is not the first time the former Tesco high-flyer publicly criticized his replacement. In 2015, he told the program BBC BBC “Panorama” that the trust of millions of customers was “blurred” because of the failure of leadership.
Mr Clarke has hit back at his comments, at the time, claiming that Tesco “is the number of critical tasks” that have been building for years.
He originally supported Mr. Clark, says the “daily Telegraph” a year after he passed the baton that the new chief Executive was “man – this is a very good thing” and “gotta play it how he sees it”.
Tesco declined to comment, while Mr. Clark could not be reached.