CIPD: All 500,000 employees can email CEO ideas directly, he says. As Tesco’s new chief executive Dave Lewis stepped in to head up the struggling retailer, he took an unusual approach on his first day by calling on his entire workforce to send him their ideas to improve the business. In a message to staff on the employer’s social networking site yesterday, Lewis wrote: “We have some urgent issues to deal with. I want to hear what you think we could do differently or better.”
Tesco’s fall in fortune has been well documented in recent times, with the company reporting its third profit warning in eight months last Friday. The retailer has faced increasing competition from lower priced stores such as Aldi and Lidl, who have taken greater market share.
However, Lewis struck an optimistic note in his message to staff, saying: “Clearly we all want to see an improvement in performance but I won’t take any hasty decisions. I will always communicate openly and transparently with you and I’d like to encourage the same from you in return. Hopefully we will get a chance to do this in person, but for the sake of immediacy please send any comments or ideas to me by email
Lewis has joined the retailer from Unilever, which manufacturers brands such as Wall’s sausages, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Persil washing products.
He admitted that he had “never run a shop in my life” but added that there were plenty of retail experts already in the business who he could call on, not least his predecessor the former head of Tesco.
Lewis told the Evening Standard: “Phil Clarke [the previous CEO] 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.”