Tesco makes sweeping marketing job cuts

Tesco has made more than 50 senior and middle managers redundant at its head office – the majority of those marketing roles – as CEO Philip Clarke presses on with his £1bn turnaround plan.

An image from Tesco’s latest advertising campaign.

Among the casualties is Tesco’s Clubcard marketing director Ian Crook, who up until recently – as digital marketing director – had been leading the supermarket’s regular “hackathon” events it launched last year in a bid to become more ”Google-esque”

Also departing is the chief executive of Tesco Mobile, Roger Fogg, according to various reports.

While Tesco would not provide Marketing Week with a statement or provide reasons for the job cuts, a spokeswoman confirmed a Financial Times report on the redundancies was correct.

The departures come shortly after Tesco has made a number of hires across its wider portfolio of businesses. Blinkbox, its digital entertainment arm, recently appointed Facebook’s European head of retail to lead its ebooks service and the former head of Sainsbury’s digital entertainment division Mark Bennett to head up the Blinkboxmusic, previously WE7.

Elsewhere it also appointed former House of Fraser executive director Robin Terrell as multi-channel director, Notcutts Garden Centres CEO Andy King to become managing director of its garden centre business Dobbies and Marks & Spencer head of merchandising Paul Solly to run its home division.

Last month Tesco also promoted the founder of Blinkbox, Michael Comish, to the new role of group digital officer.

The balance of hires and fires appears to suggest Clarke is looking to position itself better as a multi-channel operator.

Last year Clarke unveiled a £1bn six-point plan to improve stores, customer experience, its promotion and pricing strategy and own-label ranges. As part of the plans Tesco pledged to invest millions in making its marketing “better, clearer and more relevant” and shortly afterwards appointed Wieden + Kennedy to its creative account. 

Tesco’s share of the supermarket sector fell from 30.7 to 30.1 in the 3 months to 7 July, according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data. The supermarket reported a 1 per cent drop in sales from stores open for a year or more in the 13 weeks to 25 May, but Clarke claimed his “Building a Better Tesco in the UK strategy” – of which fresh food is at the heart – is “on track”. 

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