LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - Tesco's under-fire finance chief Laurie McIlwee quit on Friday days before Britain's biggest retailer is expected to announce another sharp decline in profitability and following months of speculation about his future.
Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer which has been hit by fierce competition, said McIlwee has decided to step down from the board and resign from the company but had agreed to remain in his role to ensure a smooth handover to his successor.
"The board is commencing a process to find a new chief financial officer with both internal and external applicants being considered," it said.
McIlwee became CFO in January 2009 and had been with the retailer since 2000. He had been the only other executive director on the board alongside Chief Executive Philip Clarke. (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Neil Maidment)