Sir Terence Patrick “Terry” Leahy (born 28 February 1956) is a British businessman, previously the CEO of Tesco.
£5K – £10K
Following his then girlfriend to London, he applied to become a product manager for Turkey Foil but was turned down. He applied for a job at Tesco, but lost out to another candidate. After that candidate was quickly reassigned upwards, Leahy returned to Tesco in 1979 as a marketing executive. Tesco was a resolute market follower of the two leading brands, Marks & Spencer as the then world’s most profitable retailer, and Sainsbury’s as the world’s most profitable food retailer. Leahy concluded that Tesco should stop following a strategy of catch-up and start leading through market knowledge, which led to his success in devising and implementing the Tesco Clubcard loyalty programme and also monitoring the shopping habits of Clubcard holders. Leahy was appointed to the board in 1992, and in 1995 Tesco became the UK’s biggest retailer. Leahy became chief executive in 1997, on the retirement of Lord MacLaurin (formerly his mentor) who wanted to appoint a successor to lead international expansion and increased market share. Tesco stretched its lead as the UK’s largest retailer and also grew internationally: Leahy continued to visit a Tesco store somewhere every week, normally on a Friday. Following Tesco’s announcement of £2 billion in profits in April 2005, Leahy hit back against protests that the company was “too successful”. During his tenure, he increased the company’s UK market share from 20pc to 30pc. On 8 June 2010, Tesco announced that Leahy was to retire as chief executive in March 2011. Leahy has been paid £8.42m in performance related bonuses since his departure from Tesco, in addition to a pension pot worth £18.4m at the time of his departure. Since then he has focused on startup investments.
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