Other changes announced by the supermarket include the appointment of commercial director Richard Brasher to the newly-created role of CEO of the UK business and a promise to create a “new group commercial role”.
Sir Terry will retire in March 2011 after 14 years as CEO.
Clarke currently has responsibility for Tesco’s international operations in Asia and Europe as well as group IT.
In other changes, Tim Mason, president and CEO of its Fresh & Easy business in the USA, will be given the additional group responsibility for “branding, our values and climate change”. He will also become deputy CEO.
Sir Terry’s move will come as a surprise to analysts and rivals. The supermarket recently announced group sales increased 8.5% last year, while pre-tax profit rose 8.9% to £3.2bn.
Shares in Tesco were down 1.96% this morning (8 June) at the time of publication.