Tesco: booze cruise and bad news

Tesco has been happily toasting its new method of shifting wine supplies around the country, boasting that it’s ‘the first major British retailer to transport cargo by canal’. It’s a fine eco-friendly move, but boss Terry Leahy could probably do with some time chilling on a barge sipping a Bordeaux himself – anything to take his mind off the ongoing brain drain at the company. This week yet another Tesco executive has shipped out.

Last Updated: 06 Nov 2012

Julia Reynolds, one of the people behind Tesco’s move into fashion retail, quit earlier this week to head up lingerie specialist Figleaves.com, becoming the second senior female executive to leave the company in the space of a fortnight. The retail giant’s reaction to the defections? It is apparently ‘unconcerned’.

Yet these are hardly inconsequential knocks. Reynolds’ departure comes just a couple of weeks after Dido Harding swapped the chain’s blue and white for the orange of Sainsbury’s, heading up the rival’s convenience store business. Harding, formerly Tesco’s development director, is among the nation’s most highly-rated executives; her move came only a couple of months after DSG poached John Browett, after 10 years on Terry Leahy’s top team, to be its new chief exec. 

We’ve raised this issue before on these pages. Perhaps’s Leahy’s long and glorious reign at Britain's Most Admired Company is resulting in that age-old problem of job-blocking? Whatever the cause of the exodus, the companies mopping up the fallout will be keeping a close watch, and raising their glasses.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

I ran Iceland's central bank in 2009. Here's what I learned about crisis ...

And you thought your turnaround was tricky.

"It's easy to write a cheque you don't have to cash for 30 ...

But BP's new CEO has staked his legacy on going green.

AI opens up an ethical minefield for businesses

There will inevitably be unintended consequences from blindly adopting new technology.

The strange curse of No 11 Downing Street

As Sajid Javid has just discovered, “chancellors come and go… the Treasury endures forever”.

Men are better at self-promotion than women

Research shows women under-rate their performance even when they have an objective measure of how...

When doing the right thing gets you in trouble

Concern with appearances can distort behaviour, as this research shows.