Tesco was left reeling today after a major investor slashed its stake in the troubled retailer just as Dave Lewis took over as its new chief executive.
The supermarket's share price fell 1.5% to 226.40p early this morning after the Sunday Telegraph reported that Harris Associates had sold nearly two thirds of its stake from around 3% to 1% of the business over concerns that it had become "too risky".
David Herro, chief executive of Harris Associates, said: “We want to hear a clear and coherent strategy about how to get this thing moving again."
Lewis joins the retail giant from Unilever, having started a month early after Tesco was forced only last week to issue another profit warning and slash its dividend to shareholders by 75%.
His predecessor, Philip Clarke, was forced to resign after the retailer revealed its worst trading figures in 40 years.
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Lewis tried to set out some of his vision for Tesco in an interview with the Evening Standard today, pledging to offer a "fresh perspective".
Explaining why he took the job at Tesco, Lewis said: “I needed to find out for myself whether I can lead a whole business. Some people think that is crazy given some of the jobs I have done but actually I don’t think you know whether you can truly lead a business until you sit in that seat.”
He added: "Phil Clarke is a great retailer. The issue for Tesco is, is that what they need now? Because great retailing in that seat hasn’t been the thing that has worked, so they do need a fresh perspective.”