Two months after Tesco’s former chair John Allan stepped down following allegations of sexual misconduct the ‘Big Four’ grocer has appointed boardroom heavyweight Gerry Murphy to fill the role.
Dr. Murphy, an Irish businessman, is already the chairman of luxury fashion brand Burberry and sugar manufacturing business Tate & Lyle, however will step down from this role once he begins as head of Tesco.
As head of Burberry he has taken aim at Rishi Sunak, saying the prime minister’s decision to scrap VAT free shopping for international tourist made the UK the “least attractive” shopping destination in Europe for visitors
His career began in the Bank of Ireland, where Murphy climbed the ranks to become manager of the bank’s advertising function.
Since then he has held senior roles in some of the UK’s biggest FTSE 100 including a three year stint as a non-executive director at Durex maker Reckitt Benckiser and five years as chief executive of B&Q owner Kingfisher between 2003 and 2008.
His departure from the retailer was a source of controversy with the company forced to slam rumours the Irishman was sacked from the role after the brand reportedly struggled to compete with rivals Homebase under his reign.
“He wouldn’t be hanging around for another three months if he’d been fired,” a spokesperson told the Evening Standard at the time.
Since then, he has chaired private investment bank Blackstone and sat on the board of cigarette maker British American Tobacco.
He is set to step into the role as Tesco chair on September 1st.