Former Dixons chairman John Allan is tipped to be named as the next chairman of Tesco after his rival, Ian Cheshire, former chief executive of B&Q-owner Kingfisher, withdrew from the race.
Cheshire is understood to have turned down the role because he wants another chief executive position rather than a chairmanship.
His decision is likely to disappoint Tesco as his experience in the day-to-day management of a large international retail group would have complemented the supermarket’s chief executive, Dave Lewis – a former Unilever executive who has no retail experience.
Allan became co-deputy chairman of Dixons Carphone after the merger of the electricals retailer with mobile phone store Carphone Warehouse last year. He is also chairman of housebuilder Barratts and sits on the board of Royal Mail.
He began his career in the consumer goods industry at Lever Brothers, Bristol-Myers Company and Fine Fare before going on to become chief executive of distribution company Exel.
Recent reports had suggested that only Allan and Cheshire were currently in the frame to replace Sir Richard Broadbent, who is stepping down in the wake of Tesco’s plunging profits and a £263m accounting scandal. It is possible that other City figures could make the shortlist.
Separately, it has emerged that Tesco has called in management consultants to advise on a major shakeup of the groceries it sells. Thousands of products are expected to be dropped.
The supermarket giant is working with Boston Consulting Group on the review, which is expected to see the number of products reduced from 90,000 to between 65,000 and 70,000. Earlier this month, new boss Lewis said its range had become too big under predecessor Philip Clarke, making it difficult to manage.
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