CTO becomes CEO of big UK grocer

Sir Terry Leahy will step down as CEO of Tesco in just under a year’s time. His successor was announced today as Philip Clarke, Head of Tesco’s IT. Philip is not really your average Sys Admin though having taken home £ 2.2 million in wages (including bonus) in 2006.

This is notable and welcome for a number of reasons. It is relatively rare to make the switch from CTO to CEO of an organisation, particularly one as large as Tesco (over £50 billion revenue). Tesco is also probably not viewed as being a technology company by most but this betrays a lack of understanding of the reality of modern retailing. What sets Tesco and other market disruptors like Ocado apart from others in the sector is their reliance on flawless execution of technology projects to generate better data about customers.

The more board rooms that understand the core strategic value of technology to the processes in a business, the better for the future for the economy.

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