CHESHUNT, England — Tesco said last week that Sir Terry Leahy, who has led the retail giant for the past 14 years, has decided to retire as chief executive officer in March 2011 at the age of 55. He will be succeeded by Philip Clarke, 50, a longtime Tesco veteran who most recently has been leading the company's international operations in Europe and Asia as well as group IT. “When I became CEO I had a plan to build Tesco around its customers, to make it No. 1 in the U.K. and to find new long-term growth in nonfood, in services and in international expansion,” Leahy said in a prepared statement. “I wanted to develop a purpose and values that could sustain Tesco through its challenges and encourage and grow future leaders. It has taken 14 years but that strategy has become a firm reality now and so I feel my work is almost complete.” Tim Mason, 52, president and CEO of the Fresh & Easy business in the U.S., will be given the additional group responsibility for branding, values and climate change, and will become deputy CEO of Tesco. He will continue to be based in the U.S.
AFFILIATED FOODS' LANKFORD RETIRES
AMARILLO, Texas — Affiliated Foods said last week George Lankford plans to retire as president and chief executive officer of the $1.1 billion cooperative effective Oct 2. Succeeding him will be Randy Arceneaux, who was named president and chief operating officer; he will add the title of CEO when Lankford retires. Lankford has been with Affiliated for more than 20 years, serving as vice president of marketing, executive vice president and, since 2000, president and CEO. Arceneaux joined the company last July as vice president and chief operating officer after six years with Affiliated Foods Southwest, Little Rock, Ark. Arceneaux became president of AFS in March 2009, shortly before the company filed bankruptcy. He had been hired by AFS in 2004 as director of its Louisiana division and subsequently promoted to vice president and chief operating officer. Before joining AFS, he headed the Louisiana division of Fleming Cos.
WAL-MART STORES PROMOTES GEARHART
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here last week said it has elevated Jeff Gearhart, currently executive vice president and general counsel, to the additional role of corporate secretary. He will succeed Tom Hyde, currently EVP and corporate secretary, who plans to retire, the company said. The changes are effective Aug. 1. Gearhart, 45, will continue as general counsel, overseeing the legal department. He will also continue to lead the company's ethical sourcing program. He will report to Mike Duke, chief executive officer. Gearhart joined Wal-Mart in 2003 and has been EVP and general counsel since February 2009. Hyde joined Wal-Mart in July 2001 after serving as senior vice president and general counsel of Raytheon. His responsibilities for the ethics and global security organizations will be assumed by other leaders in the company.
FAMILY DOLLAR TAPS ZUCKER FOR IT
MATTHEWS, N.C. — Family Dollar Stores here last week said it has named Scott Zucker vice president of information technology solutions delivery, reporting to Josh Jewett, senior vice president of IT and chief information officer at the 6,700-store chain. Zucker joined Family Dollar in 2006 as a divisional VP.