Leahy offers Tesco answers at Hay Festival

INVESTORS seeking to find out what’s going wrong at supermarket chain Tesco might want to indulge their literary side and buy a ticket to this year’s Hay Festival – as the firm’s former chief executive is set to appear at the event.

Terry Leahy, who led the firm for 14 years before quitting last spring, is one of a number of business names on the bill for the annual literary and arts event in the Welsh border town of Hay-on-Wye.

Although lauded by the City while in the position, immediately after his departure Tesco began to suffer, with UK earnings hit by a botched attempt at a price war, forcing the firm to issue its first profit warning in 20 years.

Given that sales were already falling, irate shareholders might feel that it is worth heading to the countryside on 1 June and paying a mere £10.25 to hear him justify his business strategy.

Leahy will be promoting his book Management in Ten Words, which promises to “pinpoint the ten vital attributes that make successful managers and underpin great organisations”. Likely to be a best seller, it is due out in the summer and will be published by Random House.

Other business stars set to appear at Hay include Luke Johnson, former chairman of Channel 4 and high street campaigner Mary Portas.