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Abstract

This case covers Terry Leahy's career at Tesco, the UK-based retailer, and especially the ten years since he became CEO in 1997. Tesco has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it was playing second fiddle to Sainsbury's. It now has a 30% share of the UK groceries market, almost as big as its two closest competitors, Sainsbury's and the Wal-Mart-backed Asda, put together. It has used its solid domestic base to develop its international operations, culminating with the launch of a chain of convenience stores on Wal-Mart's home turf in late 2007. The case looks at the leader who has overseen this remarkable progress, Terry Leahy. It traces his rise from council house kid to Britain's most admired business leader (five times running) and adviser to the British prime minister. His success is all the more surprising given his low-key style and lack of charisma. We look at the other factors - such as ambition, passion and personal example - that have contributed to his rise, effectiveness and longevity as a leader.
Location:
Size:
318,000 employees worldwide
Other setting(s):
1997-2008

About

Abstract

This case covers Terry Leahy's career at Tesco, the UK-based retailer, and especially the ten years since he became CEO in 1997. Tesco has come a long way since the early 1990s, when it was playing second fiddle to Sainsbury's. It now has a 30% share of the UK groceries market, almost as big as its two closest competitors, Sainsbury's and the Wal-Mart-backed Asda, put together. It has used its solid domestic base to develop its international operations, culminating with the launch of a chain of convenience stores on Wal-Mart's home turf in late 2007. The case looks at the leader who has overseen this remarkable progress, Terry Leahy. It traces his rise from council house kid to Britain's most admired business leader (five times running) and adviser to the British prime minister. His success is all the more surprising given his low-key style and lack of charisma. We look at the other factors - such as ambition, passion and personal example - that have contributed to his rise, effectiveness and longevity as a leader.

Settings

Location:
Size:
318,000 employees worldwide
Other setting(s):
1997-2008

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