Ebay has kept the identity of its new UK boss under wraps since Tanya Lawler announced her decision to step down in November; but the waiting is now over and Tesco’s Rob Hattrell has been revealed as the man charged with driving forward the UK business.
Whereas some hires can leave you racking your brains for synergies between employee and employer, in the case of Hattrell his suitability for eBay is obvious. As a former Tesco IT director, Hattrell combines expertise in IT with a knowledge of general merchandise having run Tesco’s GM business across the UK and Central Europe for the past three years. He has experience in both online and physical retail, a mix of skills that eBay’s European vice president Paul Todd – and Hatrell’s new boss – conspicuously chose to highlight in the retailer’s press release announcing the appointment.
Candidates like Hattrell, with a rounded set of skills, are highly sought after in the market; even at a pureplay business such as eBay. Hattrell will bring with him a deep insight into the bricks and clicks operating model which can only add value to a business such as eBay which is already bursting with ecommerce know-how.
The Oxford graduate is a highly focused, strategic thinker and I expect him to prove an excellent hire.
Hattrell will be replaced at Tesco by Ashwin Prasad, whose loyalty to the grocer has been rewarded with a well-deserved promotion.
Prasad is a former Mars man who joined Tesco in 2010. While many executives have moved on since Dave Lewis took over the helm in 2014 – partly as a result of the accounting scandal that engulfed Tesco at the start of Lewis’s reign – Prasad has quietly excelled in a number of category positions, most recently heading up health, beauty and wellness.
He has excellent relations with suppliers and is known as a good team man, and this move is a logical next step both for Prasad and for Tesco.
I wish him all the best in his new role.