Charlie Wilson will step down as CEO Tesco UK & ROI and from the board, but remain on the executive committee.
In a statement, the supermarket chain said: ‘Following an operation to remove his tonsils in April, Charles was diagnosed with throat cancer. During May and June he underwent daily radiotherapy. The good news is that Charles has responded very well to the treatment and all the signs are that the treatment has been successful.
‘However, given the nature of the illness and the need for Charles to remain vigilant in his recuperation, we have agreed to make changes to responsibilities within the senior leadership team.
‘Charles will focus on leading the Booker business, continuing to deliver the cost synergies and driving the growth agenda set out in the merger agreement. As a member of the executive committee he will contribute to the broader Tesco UK Strategy. He will continue to report to [Tesco Group chief executive] Dave Lewis.
Jason Tarry, currently group chief product officer, will become ceo of the UK & ROI business and Andrew Yaxley, currently ceo Ireland, will be promoted to group chief product officer and join the Tesco executive committee. Both Jason and Andrew will report to Dave Lewis.
In a special message, Charlie Wilson said: “In April I was shocked to learn I had throat cancer. Thanks to some fantastic medical support, I’m pleased the treatment is going well and I’m back to working full time. However, advice suggests I’m not fully up to running the Tesco UK & ROI business. During this process, Dave and the board and Tesco leadership team have been very supportive.
“I’m very pleased to continue running Booker and help deliver the benefits of the merger for consumers, Booker customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders. I’m delighted that Jason Tarry will become the ceo of Tesco UK and ROI. I have had the privilege of working alongside Jason and know he will do a brilliant job.
“A big thanks to Dave, all the team in Tesco UK & ROI, Booker and the Booker customers for your support and I really look forward to working with you in the years ahead.”