Tesco has promoted Emma Botton to group customer director from her previous role as group brand, proposition and marketing communications director.
She is now the supermarket’s most senior marketer and will lead Tesco’s core customer agenda. Botton will be responsible for developing customer strategy, working closely with customer teams across the group to ensure its approach to customer propositions and marketing are consistent across different units.
It follows the news that chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini will be departing at the end of September, a role Tesco will not be replacing directly.
Botton, who will also be joining Tesco’s UK leadership team, will report into group chief commercial officer Ashwin Prasad, who will be ultimately responsible for delivering the product and customer strategy.
There are no other planned changes within the senior marketing senior team at this time. The existing customer leadership team will join Ashwin’s leadership team.
Tesco’s decision to restructure its marketing function comes as the supermarket looks to better align its customer and product agendas.
It hopes that by doing so, and by bringing together the skills and experience of each function, the grocer will be able to maximise the quality of its overall proposition and accelerate the delivery of its strategic drivers.
The shift in leadership and structure is part of the supermarket’s efforts to ensure all parts of the business are truly customer-centric.
In a memo to staff announcing Bellini’s exit yesterday (20 September), CEO Ken Murphy praised her “immense contribution” to the business in helping to transform the group customer function at Tesco to what he believes is now recognised as “best in class”.
The focus on customer has been central to Tesco’s turnaround, following the accounting scandal of 2014, which led to it posting a historic £6.38bn pre-tax loss, the worst in its 96-year history and the biggest loss ever recorded on the UK high street.
A key part of this has been putting customer at the heart of the business again after UK CEO Jason Tarry admitted to Marketing Week in 2020 that the business had taken its “eye off the ball” from a customer perspective.