TESCO director Andrew Higginson is quitting the company in a year’s time – leaving a hole in its plans to expand its banking services.
Higginson led the retailer’s move into banking and was at the heart of the company’s strategy under former chief executive Sir Terry Leahy.
He was also seen as contender to succeed him at one stage.
Higginson was group finance and strategy director for 11 years but moved to lead the retailing services division, which includes Tesco Bank, at the start of 2009.
Tesco said Higginson had informed the company of his intention to retire from the board and executive committee on 1 September 2012.
In a statement he said: “I have had a wonderful career with Tesco, and am very proud of the part I have played in the company’s success. Next year, I will be 55 and will have completed 15 years on the board.”
Shore Capital analyst Darren Shirley said Higginson’s leaving was a “surprise” and a “loss” for the business: “
Chairman David Reid is also retiring and is being replaced by Sir Richard Broadbent, Barclays’ deputy chairman, in November. The moves are seen as a changing of the guard at the retailer following the end of Leahy’s reign.