Former CEO at Tesco PLC
“I used to work as a general assistant every year– and the deal I did with the top 3,000 managers is that they’d do a week as well. It’s a very good thing. You get to see the business from a very different perspective”
Former CEO at Tesco PLC
“I find competition incredibly helpful, because it forces you to do your best work”
Sir Terry Leahy is one of the world’s most admired business leaders: an inspiration to many and constantly in demand on the speaker circuit.
In his 14 years as CEO of Tesco, Sir Terry transformed the company into the largest supermarket chain in Britain and spearheaded its expansion abroad. He started packing shelves there and worked his way up to be the most successful CEO in the history of Tesco, turning over nearly £62 billion in 2010 and accounting for more than £1 in £7 spent in the high street. As CEO he oversaw Tesco’s expansion into everything from groceries to electrical goods, built a £1 billion clothing business and was one of the first to see the potential of the internet for selling groceries.
In his recent book Management in 10 Words, Sir Terry distils and shares a lifetime’s experience at the forefront of business. Drawing heavily on his time at Tesco and his observation of other companies, he identifies the key traits that every good manager needs, pinpoints the ways in which effective leaders inspire those they lead, and analyses how innovative and successful business strategies are forged.
He was knighted in 2002 for his services to food retailing and has received many industry honours and awards, including an Honorary Degree from the University of Liverpool in 2007, Sunday Times Business Person of the Year in 2010 and a Lifetime Achievement award from Retail Week in 2011 and was voted as Britain’s Most Admired Leader by Management Today for five consecutive years from 2005 to 2010.
Since Sir Terry stepped down as CEO of Tesco he has joined Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the US private equity firm, as a special advisor, he also serves as director of the Liverpool Enterprise Partnership. He also invests in, and advises entrepreneurial businesses and is a champion of education and has recently invested in a video-based online teaching tool for GCSE students. He is also involved with various charities. Married with three children, he enjoys sports, reading, theatre and architecture in his spare time.