Tesco chairman John Allan resigns amid inappropriately touching allegations
esco chairman John Allan will step down after the company’s annual general meeting next month, the supermarket giant announced today after being accused of improper conduct last week.
He has been CEO of Tesco since 2015.
According to a report in the Guardian earlier this month, four women came forward to accuse Allan of inappropriate behavior.
Allan “vigorously denied” three of those allegations, but admitted the other, which referred to statements made about a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) staffer when he was president of the lobby group. Tesco said Allann apologized “unreservedly” for those comments.
One of the allegations was that he touched an employee’s butt at the Tesco AGM in 2022. Tesco said it has “opened a full review of the allegation” which “has found no evidence or complaints relating to John”.
In his statement on his departure, Allan again denied the claims made against him.
“It is with regret that I have to resign early as CEO of Tesco Plc following anonymous and unfounded allegations against me, according to the Guardian,” he said. “These claims are completely unfounded, as evidenced by Tesco’s internal procedures.
“Tesco conducted an ‘extensive internal review’, which asked Tesco employees and former employees to come forward anonymously if they had concerns about my conduct.
“Tesco has also been in contact with those who attended the meeting where the incident is alleged to have occurred and video footage of the meeting has also been reviewed.” There is no evidence of a at this time or at any time during my tenure at Tesco wrongdoing and I remain determined to prove my innocence.”
Senior independent director Byron Grote becomes interim chairman. He said: “John has made a valuable contribution to Tesco in his eight years as Chairman. He successfully guided the board through the turnaround and Covid while helping to rebuild the company.
“While we have received no complaints about John’s conduct and have made no findings of wrongdoing, these allegations risk distracting Tesco. On behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to thank him for his significant contribution to the company. We are well advanced in the search for a new chair and will announce this in due course.”
Tesco added that they have already started their succession planning as Allan will be stepping down soon anyway. Stewart Gilliland will lead the process to find his permanent replacement.
Allan received a fee of £687,000 last year plus a further £8,000 for expenses, during which he attended five of Tesco’s six board meetings and a total of ten board sub-committee meetings.
He was President of the CBI from 2018 to 2020. The CBI and its leadership have faced a number of allegations of misconduct in recent months. Its general manager Tony Danker resigned in March over these allegations.
The price of Tesco chairs fell slightly to 267.6p after the announcement.
https://www.standard.co.uk/business/tesco-chair-to-step-down-amid-inappropriate-behaviour-allegations-b1082388.html Tesco chairman John Allan resigns amid inappropriately touching allegations