Chris Bush, COO of Tesco’s domestic business, is expected to take up the role of UK CEO

Chris Bush, COO of Tesco’s domestic business, is expected to take up the role of UK CEO

Speculation is mounting that Tesco is poised to appoint Chris Bush as its CEO of UK operations.

According to the Financial Times, Bush, COO of Tesco's domestic business, is expected to take up the role from CEO Philip Clarke, who has taken control of the retailer's UK operations in a bid to stem falling sales.

The role has been vacant since Richard Brasher stepped down in March, which Tesco said came after group CEO Philip Clarke opted "to take a much closer involvement in the UK business".

Tesco has been attempting to turn the fortunes of its struggling UK business around through investing in more staff, improving its product offering, and refreshing or refitting some 430 stores in 2012/13.

In October, Tesco reported a 12.4% drop in first-half trading profit for its UK division to GBP1.12bn, with like-for-like sales down 0.7%. Earlier this month, like-for-like sales excluding fuel and VAT were down 0.6% in the retailer's third quarter.

It was first suggested that Bush was the front-runner to take over responsibility for Tesco's domestic business in December. The retailer is expected to make an announcement on the role on its earnings call tomorrow. It is also expected to announce the appointment of House of Fraser executive Robin Terrell as its multi-channel director, the FT noted.