Tesco appoints new marketing boss in latest management shake-up

Tesco has appointed Robin Terrell, previously its multichannel director, as its new marketing boss, marking the second time in six months the supermarket has put someone without a traditional background in marketing in charge of the discipline.

Terrell takes over from Jill Easterbrook, who was appointed to the position of chief customer officer in June. Easterbrook, who has spent more than 13 years at Tesco including as director of its clothing business, corporate affairs and group strategy but had no background in marketing, is moving into a new position to lead Tesco’s business transformation programme.

Terrell becomes head of customer with responsibility for marketing. His background is in online retail. Before being made multichannel director at Tesco he held similar roles at House of Fraser and John Lewis.

Matt Atkinson, who held the position of CMO up until six months ago, is leaving Tesco after the supermarket decided his new role as chief creative officer was no longer needed.

The changes mark the fourth time Tesco has shaken up its marketing division in just six months. Following the initial appointment of Easterbrook the supermarket barely two weeks later moved UK marketing director David Woods to a new role as head of the health and wellbeing division, prompting further changes to the senior marketing team.

In September it shook up the team again, this time to “simplify its structure” and focus around three core activities – brand and proposition, customer insight and experience and marketing, events and operations.

The latest changes, which come into effect on 1 January, will also see group chief executive Dave Lewis take over, on a temporary basis, the leadership of the UK business. Former UK MD Chris Bush is no longer listed on the retailer’s executive committee and therefore appears to be leaving. He has been suspended since the £263m black hole was found in Tesco’s accounting.

It is unclear what has happened to the other seven executives that were also suspended.



Dave Lewis’ marketing plan to revive the Tesco brand

Sarah Vizard

Tesco’s new boss Dave Lewis has not been afraid to talk about the damage to the Tesco brand caused by a recent slump in performance and the admission of its accounting black hole. The former Unilever marketer has been employing a range of marketing tactics, including looking at brand archaeology and scale versus empathy, to plot the brand’s revival.