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Former Tesco chief's 10 words to success

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 02:27

June 12 - Terry Leahy worked his way up in business to become CEO of the world's third biggest retailer. He has now left Tesco and published a book - Management in 10 words - with tips on how to make your fortune in business. Hayley Platt reports

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Terry Leahy has been credited with transforming the supermarket Tesco into the world's third biggest retailer. But he wasn't born rich. Growing up on council estate in Liverpool northern England, he says he lived in his school uniform until he was sixteen because his family couldn't afford any other clothes. He worked his way up from shelf stacker to chief executive. Now he's written a book - Management in Ten Words - on how to make your fortune in business - something he did in spades at Tesco. SOUNDBITE: Terry Leahy, former Tesco chief executive, saying (English): "I'm quite a shy retiring person but in order to get on you have to defend your ideas and so in that sense it was kill or be killed." By the time he took the helm at Tesco, the chain was taking 1 in every 10 pounds spent on the UK high street. It opened branches in 14 countries including China, India and the U.S. When Leahy left last year his salary including shares and bonuses topped £10 million, something he has no qualms about. SOUNDBITE: Terry Leahy, former Tesco chief executive, saying (English): "You've got to remember in my time when I was chief executive the value of Tesco to its owners increased by 30 billion pounds also our staff received several billions of pounds in profit shares in awards and pensions and so on above their pay so interestingly I never had a problem in Tesco about pay." That can't be said of new boss Philip Clarke Last month he passed up an annual bonus of over 370,000 pounds after the company's poor performance. Since Leahy left Tesco's has struggled to maintain market share. Last month Clarke slashed the UK's expansion plans - instead choosing to invest over 1 billion pounds on improving stores. Leahy agrees its a tough market. SOUNDBITE: Terry Leahy, former Tesco chief executive, saying (English): "They need to trust markets more and encourage and support enterprise and risk taking and perhaps governments themselves try to do a little less involved in every corner of life and also on the things they do spend perhaps more emphasis on long-term investment to create capacity that will help the economy grow and less on current spending." This week Tesco reported another drop in sales - they were 1.5 percent down on the quarter. In contrast Leahy is expecting a sales boom now his new book is on the shelves. Hayley Platt, Reuters.

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Former Tesco chief's 10 words to success

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 02:27