Who will replace Tesco chairman Richard Broadbent: Runners and riders

Lynsey Barber
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Who will fill Broadbebt's shoes (Source: Getty)

Wanted: Heavyweight to lead a City institution. Must be good with numbers and new people. Retail knowledge preferred. Must be willing to have difficult conversations, understand customers and be confident in implementing new strategies. Hobbies should include "brand archeology".

It’s a tough job. Is there anyone who would want to fill chairman Richard Broadbent’s shoes at Tesco?

Steering a new management team and board, dealing with a turnaround that looks like commanding the Titanic, and bringing back credibility to one of the UK’s (formerly) most respected institutions- some might see that as a challenge.

Who could be in the running to take that on?

Richard Cousins

The current chief executive of food group Compass, Cousins recently joined Tesco’s board. He’s been fingered as the likely successor to Broadbent in the run-up to today’s news in a number of reports. Shareholders are said to be happy with the choice.

However, Tesco is unlikely to want a new chairman who is also a chief executive. Would Tesco be able to tempt Cousins from a successful eight-year stint at Compass? And would Cousins want to jump to a leaky, if not quite yet sinking, ship?

John Gildersleeve

Gildersleeve is known as a City beast, he could be the one to sink his claws into Tesco and give it the much-needed shakeup it requires.

With two decades on Tesco’s board, he’s certainly experienced the ups and the downs, but whether he is prepared to be in the hot seat as it experiences further downs is another question. He's possibly more of a fair weather man.

JG as he's called, knows the ropes well, however, having worked his way up from a shelf-stacker and checkout boy at the supermarket before making it to the board.

Archie Norman

The former boss of Asda is credited with its turnaround and also knows a thing or two about supermarket woes. Norman has also helped broadcaster ITV improve its performance, and share price.

Norman was previously linked with the chairman role at rival supermarket Morrisons. That didn’t come to fruition, instead it went to Tesco’s former finance director Andrew Higginson. Small world.

Maybe it's the right opportunity for Norman to return to the retail fray this time.

Sir Terry Leahy

Would the man who led Tesco to the pinnacle of success want to return? Could he be to Tesco what Jose Mourinho has been for Chelsea on his second coming. Tesco's Special One, perhaps?

An outsider to say the least, the temptation to resurface and remind everyone what can happen if things are not placed in his safe hands could be a draw, as would riding in like a knight on horseback to save the day. A reminder of the good 'ol days wouldn't go amiss at Tesco's Cheshunt headquarters, either.

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