Charles Wilson’s decision to step down as Tesco UK and Ireland chief executive as he recovers from illness has prompted a reorganisation of the grocer’s top team.
Jason Tarry has stepped up to run the UK business in Wilson’s absence while Andrew Yaxley has succeeded Tarry in the role of Tesco’s group chief commercial officer.
This week it was announced that the space left by Yaxley as Tesco Ireland chief executive will be filled by Kari Daniels.
Daniels has been with Tesco since 2002 and is regarded as an exceptional leader with a track record of delivering strong performance at a category level.
She began her career as an assistant merchandiser at Burton Group before spending several years marketing health and beauty products with SC Johnson and Wella.
Daniels returned to retail in 1996 with Superdrug before joining Tesco as category director for baby, beauty and toiletries in 2002.
In the 16 years since Daniels has built a solid bank of commercial expertise in a number of category director roles and also boasts experience of working in the wider Tesco business as commercial director for general merchandise in Central Europe.
Although the volume of food sales is around 20 times smaller than the UK business, Tesco Ireland is seen as an important, and profitable, part of the UK operation – with which it operates in tandem – and Daniels will be tasked with building on the retailer’s strategy of investing in price, quality and service in its 140 stores across the country.
The outgoing Yaxley, meanwhile, has held a number of commercial roles in his near 17 years with Tesco and now assumes the key role of group chief commercial officer following Tarry’s promotion.
Yaxley is also notable as a former alumni of Mars, which has produced so many of the UK’s top grocery retailers including Tesco’s current commercial director for GM Ashwin Prasad.
Despite the unfortunate absence of Wilson, Tesco’s top team still has a formidable look to it. And with more talent coming through the ranks there’s every reason to believe that the 10 consecutive quarters of growth achieved under Dave Lewis’ leadership is set to continue.