Tesco appoints new marketing director

Tesco has appointed a marketing chief after promoting Terry Leahy to the new role of deputy managing director.

Marketing operations director Tim Mason, who has worked closely with Terry Leahy over recent years, becomes marketing director.

A former Tesco marketing executive says: “Mason is a good figurehead, not a rough-and-ready retailer. He is one of Leahy’s blue-eyed boys, and they make a dynamic duo. Mason is not the classical sleazy retailer.”

Mason was regional managing director before taking on the marketing operations role in 1993. He joined the chain in 1982 from Unilever, and worked in packaged grocery.

Leahy has been in charge of some of Tesco’s most innovative marketing moves over recent years, including the launch of Tesco Value Lines in 1993, a response to growing competition from discounters.

Observers say Leahy is being groomed for the top post as managing director, held by David Malpas. This would leave the way free for finance director David Reid to take over from chairman Sir Ian MacLaurin, who is due to retire in three years.

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