Booker Group chief executive Charles Wilson is to retire in February after 15 years at the helm of the wholesale giant.
Stepping down officially in February 2021, current Tesco chief product officer Andrew Yexley will take over, with ‘a comprehensive handover’ having already begun this month between the two.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis, also due to step down from his role, heralded Wilson’s turnaround and continued leadership of Booker: “Charles’ reputation in the UK food business is unparalleled and for very good reason! The transformation of Booker over the last 15 years is one of the most remarkable business case studies in recent history. Since the merger with Tesco he has been a superb member of the executive team and a brilliant colleague. Whilst we are very sad to see him retire, we completely understand and wish Charles and his family all the very best for the future.”
Announcing the move, Wilson added: “I joined the Booker team 15 years ago. At that time Booker was challenged. Together we turned around the company, improved customer satisfaction and grew to be the leading wholesaler. In 2018 we merged with Tesco. The merger is working well. Customer satisfaction has improved, our sales are up £1.5bn and we are proud to be part of Tesco.
“It has been a privilege serving our retail and catering customers and a pleasure working with a great team at Tesco/Booker. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with throat cancer. I remain in remission but it is time to take things a little easier. It has been a huge privilege to be part of Booker and Tesco, and I look forward to seeing the group flourish in the years ahead,” Wilson concluded.