Charles Wil­son to re­tire as Booker chief in Fe­bru­ary

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Laura Onita

RE­TAIL vet­eran Charles Wil­son, who runs Tesco’s cash-and-carry busi­ness Booker and had been tipped for the top job at the su­per­mar­ket, is to step down in Fe­bru­ary.

Mr Wil­son is in re­mis­sion from throat cancer and said: “It is time to take things a lit­tle eas­ier.”

Tesco is fac­ing the im­mi­nent exit of Dave Lewis, its chief ex­ec­u­tive, af­ter six years at the helm, and fi­nance chief Alan Ste­wart, who an­nounced in June he would re­tire next April.

Mr Lewis said Mr Wil­son’s rep­u­ta­tion was un­par­al­leled in the sec­tor. He helped or­ches­trate Tesco’s takeover of Booker two years ago, hav­ing led the busi­ness for 15 years, dur­ing which time it be­came the UK’s largest whole­saler. “While we are very sad to see him re­tire, we com­pletely un­der­stand and wish Charles and his fam­ily all the very best for the fu­ture,” Mr Lewis said.

Richard Hy­man, an in­de­pen­dent re­tail an­a­lyst, agreed that Mr Wil­son was one of the few out­stand­ing re­tail­ers of the past few gen­er­a­tions.

Charles Wil­son, the out­go­ing boss of Booker, left, with Tesco chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave Lewis

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