Bloomberg News

Tesco Asia Chief Potts to Retire in 2012 After 39-Year Career

December 06, 2011

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc, the U.K.’s largest supermarket company, said David Potts will retire after serving as the first chief executive of the Asia unit for two years.

Potts, 54, will step down in June “to fulfill long-held personal ambitions,” the Cheshunt, England-based retailer said today in a statement. He began his Tesco career as a 16-year-old assistant in 1973 and joined the board in November 1998 on the same day as current Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke.

Trevor Masters, who heads the company’s European business, will succeed Potts in Asia, and Gordon Fryett will be CEO for Europe. Tesco is adding stores in China and other Asian nations to bolster growth in a region where its revenue last fiscal year gained at about five times the pace of the U.K., its biggest market.

“David has been an incredible servant to the company and an inspiration to thousands of our leaders, whose own careers are flourishing because he played his part in developing many of the programs which made the Tesco retail team amongst the most admired in the world,” Clarke said in the statement.

Tesco’s share of the U.K. grocery market declined to 30.5 percent in the 12 weeks ended Nov. 27, from 30.7 percent in the same period a year earlier, researcher Kantar Worldpanel said today.

--Editors: David Risser, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Jarvis at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at

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