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In the UK, the Telegraph features an interview with Sir Terry Leahy, the former CEO of Tesco, in which the reporter queried him about some of the changes being made by his successor, Philip Clarke. (The new CEO is accelerating a strategic review, slowing a planned rollout of new supercenters, and investing in new labor to improve customer service, among other things.)

Some excerpts:

• “Philip is a new man, he’s his own man – which is a very good thing – and he is setting out his stall as he sees it today, which is exactly what I would want him to do ... It is very natural that when you have come through a recession – and we have been pretty much in recession since 2007 – the focus is on battening down the hatches and getting through, which we have done.

“But there comes a point when you want to anticipate an upturn and invest ahead of that upturn and that is what Philip is doing.”

• “The worst thing would be if a business stayed still. I sometimes think in some other famous retail businesses, the successors were almost in awe of what went before.

“It is very healthy to see at Tesco that isn’t the case – that the new team gets on with the job in hand.

“Philip has to play it as he sees it. I think there has been a bit of a overreaction [to the profit warning] because it is an unusual event. But if you look through it, it is for the right reasons. It’s about making sure that Tesco invests in future growth, which it has always done, and making sure that the customer gets the best deal, which it has always done. I can recognise why Philip has made those decisions.”
KC's View:
I don’t know about you, but I find it charming that the former CEO of one of the world’s biggest retailers refers to the current CEO of that company as “setting out his stall” - an anachronistic reference that brings the whole notion of retailing back to its roots.