TESCO chief executive Sir Terry Leahy has announced that he will retire in March after 14 years leading the company.
Unveiling its succession plan the retail giant said IT director Philip Clarke, 50, would take over.
Leahy will be 55 when he gives over the reins of the company.
Clarke is also currently responsible for Tesco's international business.
Chairman, David Reid, said: "Terry has made an unrivalled contribution over a prolonged period. He is undoubtedly one of the leading businessmen of his generation.
"He has put in place a strategy which can secure the progress of Tesco for years to come."
Sir Terry said: "There is no better job than leading Tesco and after retirement I will concentrate mainly on private investment. I will, of course, keep a large shareholding in Tesco and remain its biggest supporter.”
Leahy’s salary and bonus was £5.2m last year after bumper profits at the chain.