Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Ex-Tesco chief advising store's tyre outlet

The former chief executive of Tesco Sir Terry Leahy has added the role of advisor to an online tyre retailer to the numerous positions he has taken since retiring from the grocery giant in March.

Sir Terry said he has a stake in Blackcircles and is providing "mentoring services on an ad hoc basis" to the internet retailer of tyres, including the Michelin, Dunlop and Pirelli brands.

The start-up offers customers fully-fitted tyres at more than 975 contracted tyre fitting outlets, which is the biggest such network in the UK. In fact, Tesco has had a partnership with Blackcircles since last year.

Blackcircles - which was founded by its current managing director Michael Welch in 2001 - has been operating Tesco Tyres, the grocer's website for selling tyres, for the past nine months. According to the website, Tesco Tyres was "created with one purpose - to make the purchase of new tyres as straightforward as possible while keeping prices highly competitive".

However, Sir Terry, who has been a shareholding in Blackcircles for around three years, stressed he played no role in Tesco striking up its partnership with the online start-up.

He said: "I had no hand in the business that Blackcircles won [with Tesco]." Sir Terry also informed Tesco's chairman David Reid at the time he took the stake in Blackcircles.

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