Britain’s Tesco to appoint Gerry Murphy as next chair

By Mrinmay Dey

(Reuters) -Britain’s largest supermarket operator Tesco has appointed Gerry Murphy, current chair at Burberry and Tate & Lyle, as its new chairperson, it said on Saturday.

The Irish businessman, who will take up the position on Sept. 1, replaces John Allan, after he resigned in June, saying claims of inappropriate behaviour levelled against him risked becoming a distraction to the business.

Allan, one of Britain’s highest-profile corporate names, is often featured in British media commenting on retail and general business matters. He chaired Tesco for about eight years.

“I also want to pay tribute to my predecessor, John Allan, whom I have known for many years. John has left Tesco with its business, management and Board in great shape and fit for the future,” Tesco’s incoming chair said.

After Allan’s resignation, the retailer appointed senior independent director Byron Grote as its interim chair.

Tesco said that upon the appointment of Murphy, Byron Grote would step down from his role as interim chair and revert to his previous position.

Murphy will step down from his position at British food ingredients maker Tate & Lyle, the retailer said in a statement.

Tate & Lyle in a separate statement said that Warren Tucker, its current chair of the audit committee, will take the role on an interim basis while its board finds a permanent successor.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)