Blog: Dean BestM&S's Bolland joins industry chatter on Brasher's exit from Tesco

Dean Best | 15 March 2012

Richard Brasher's resignation as head of Tesco's UK operations caused quite a stir in the industry today (15 March), not least at an industry conference at which he was due to speak.

Tesco stunned the sector this morning when it announced that Brasher had decided to leave the UK's largest retailer.

The company's announcement did not hide the reason for Brasher's departure, saying it came as a consequence of group CEO Philip Clarke deciding to get more involved in the retailer's domestic business.

Brasher had been due to speak this morning at the annual Retail Week conference in London but the announcement meant there was a gap in the schedule as delegates, including just-food, arrived at the event this morning.

"The coffee break might be a little longer than expected," BBC presenter Declan Curry and host of the event joked.

Curry wasted no time in asking Marc Bolland, the chief executive of rival UK retailer Marks and Spencer and a speaker at the conference, what he thought of Brasher's decision.

"I never talk about competitors so let me not make an exception now," Bolland said. However, he added: "He has been first-class, not only for Tesco but for the industry. I think he is a great man but there are always changes in business so we should always respect somebody's decision. It's a pity for retail but I'm not making any comment on Tesco."

Bolland's comments came at the end of very engaging presentation on sustainability by the Dutchman, in which he urged a rallying call to the FMCG sector to revive consumer interest in green issues.


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