Belfast Telegraph

Tesco appoints Charles Wilson as UK chief

The appointment of the highly-regarded Booker boss will see current Tesco UK and Ireland boss Matt Davies leave the group in April 2018.

Booker boss Charles Wilson will head up Tesco’s UK business following the supermarket’s £3.7 billion takeover of the wholesaler.

The appointment of highly-regarded Mr Wilson will see current UK and Ireland boss Matt Davies, who joined Tesco in 2015, leave the group in April 2018 after a handover period.

Tesco group chief executive Dave Lewis said: “I am delighted Charles will be joining the Tesco board and executive committee.

“He brings substantial commercial and retail experience and has an exceptional track record of increasing performance and driving growth in customer-focused businesses.

“Charles is ideally suited to lead the UK & ROI business for the combined group in the next phase of our turnaround.”

The retail veteran will receive a base salary of £575,000 per year and an annual bonus opportunity of up 200% of that sum, as well as an annual performance share plan opportunity of up to 225% of his pay.

Mr Wilson began his career in 1986 with Procter & Gamble, after which he held roles at OC&C Strategy and Abberton Associates.

In 1998 he became an executive director at Booker before taking the top job in 2005.

Tesco and Booker merger

In December Tesco, which is undergoing a turnaround under Mr Lewis, got the green light from the competition watchdog for its takeover of Booker.

Tesco has more than 3,000 stores across the UK, while Londis and Budgens owner Booker is the country’s largest wholesaler.

It supplies more than 5,000 stores under the Premier, Londis, Budgens and Family Shopper brands, as well as thousands of independent retailers and caterers.

A raft of rival wholesalers have raised concerns that the deal could see Booker benefit from improved supplier terms, making it difficult for them to compete.

They argued that this could eventually kill competition and see Booker raise prices to the shops it supplies.

But the CMA said Booker would be able to negotiate better terms from its suppliers for some of its groceries, and that it was likely to pass on these  savings to the shops it supplies.

Tesco also said on Monday that the group’s trading performance is in line with expectations and it expects to deliver “at least”  £1.575 billion in operating profit for the full year.

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