Tesco has started warning senior directors that they face redundancy or demotion, as part of a restructure designed to get the supermarket back on track.
Around a third of these key decision-makers have been told by Tesco top brass that they face redundancy or “changed responsibilities at a lower work level”, according to trade journal Retail Week (£).
The publication claims there are around 120 people at this level, who hold “wide-ranging responsibilities affecting the entire business, and are empowered to take far-reaching decisions”.
The move is thought to be part of chief executive Dave Lewis' masterplan to turn the ailing retailer around, drawing a line under the £263m profit overstatement and taking on challenger grocers Aldi and Lidl, which continue to eat into its market share.
In total the company needs to save £250m in running costs, Lewis said last week.
"We have some very difficult changes to make. I am very conscious that the consequences of these changes are significant for all stakeholders in our business but we are facing the reality of the situation,” he noted.
There are likely to be many more redundancies at various levels however, with Tesco planning to shut down 43 unprofitable stores, abandoning plans for 49 others. Tesco has not yet confirmed where those closures will be.
Britain's largest retailer, which was downgraded by two ratings agencies this week, is also exiting its Cheshunt headquarters and consolidate central functions in Welwyn Garden City.
Tesco declined to comment.