Tesco reshuffle sees finance disentangled from PR

The latest attempt by Tesco to learn from the mistakes that led to its profit “black hole” is to take the long overdue step of reorganising its corporate structure.

For the supermarket giant, currently being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, this has involved the decision to separate out investor information from spin.

Until now, the investor relations team deferred, somewhat bafflingly, to the company’s PR department, rather than to Tesco’s financial leadership. As of 1st January 2015, the restructure will see the IR arm report to chief financial officer Alan Steward, while PR chief Rebecca Shelley will continue to lead corporate communications.

As independent retail analyst Nick Bubb told PR Week: “Yesterday’s UK management shuffle at Tesco raised several issues, not least why the Tesco IR department was previously under the control of the PR department rather than the finance director (what were they thinking?).”

The fallout from the supermarket’s £250m profit hole, which came to light in September, wiped 50% from the company’s market value and has seen a string of senior managers forced out.



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