Tesco finance director set to resign: report

LONDON Thu Apr 3, 2014 4:39pm EDT

A shopper passes a Tesco supermarket in London October 5, 2011. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A shopper passes a Tesco supermarket in London October 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Tesco (TSCO.L) finance director Laurie McIlwee is set to resign as early as next week, days before Britain's biggest retailer is expected to announce another sharp decline in profitability, the Financial Times reported.

McIlwee became the focus of investor disquiet in October after Tesco shocked investors by reporting a collapse in profits at its central European unit, which he had failed to signal.

The newspaper, citing two people familiar with the situation, said he had also clashed with Chief Executive Philip Clarke over some areas of strategy.

Tesco, which is due to report 2013-14 results on April 16, declined to comment on the report.

McIlwee has been at Tesco for 15 years, the last five as finance director. Speculation he could depart has been around for months.

Sources familiar with the situation have previously told Reuters that some investors were not happy with the way McIlwee interacted with them, and that his position was under threat.

His departure would leave Clarke, CEO since 2011, as the only executive director on Tesco's board. Clarke himself raised eyebrows last month when he said at an industry conference that his tenure as CEO might only be "for a few years".

(Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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