During his time as Tesco, Sir Terry was, lest we forget, voted Britain's Most Admired Leader so many times that even we lost count. Under his leadership, the supermarket was transformed into one of the world's greatest retailers. So he clearly he has a lot of knowledge and expertise to offer. And having promised not to take up any listed company board positions - the usual gravy train for the ex-CEO - this is the most obvious move, particularly since CD&R has a decent track record in this area: they already employ some heavyweight advisers in the shape of ex-GE boss Jack Welch and former P&G chief A.G. Lafley (who, by the sounds of it, tapped up Leahy for this particular gig).
The precise nature of Sir Terry's role seems a little vague; CD&R said the amount of work he'd do would vary depending on the firm's investment cycle. It has put about half of its current $5bn fund to work (it owns the likes of Hertz and Rexel, and is one of the bidders for RAC). He has apparently insisted that the role will not be window-dressing; he'll be 'putting in enough hours to make a meaningful difference'- but it's not totally clear whether he'll mostly be advising on bids (like RAC), or helping to whip companies into shape after they've been bought, or both.
Having Sir Terry on speed-dial to provide some words of wisdom would clearly be beneficial to any CEO. But we can't help wondering whether Sir Terry himself - long renowned as a stickler for detail - will enjoy this kind of arms'-length role. It may be that he'll enjoy the change of pace (and the accompanying perks), or it may be that he'll find it frustrating to be able to advise and not to do. Only time will tell.