(Bloomberg) -- Tesco Plc appointed Gerry Murphy as chairman, weeks after John Allan stepped down amid links to a scandal at Britain’s premier business lobby group.
Murphy, currently chair at both fashion company Burberry Group Plc and Tate & Lyle Plc, will join Tesco’s board and be appointed chair on Sept. 1, according to a statement from the company on Saturday.
Murphy, 67, will step down from Tate & Lyle on Sept. 1 to ensure he has sufficient capacity to act as Tesco’s chair. The food ingredient company said it’s started a process to find a successor to Murphy, with Warren Tucker to be interim chair.
Sky News reported earlier that Tesco would name Murphy in the coming week, and that the announcement may be brought forward.
Allan stepped down as Tesco chair in May and Byron Grote, senior independent director, has been interim chairman since then. Tesco said at that time that four allegations had been made in relation to Allan’s conduct, in the wake of investigations into the Confederation of British Industry business lobby group. Allan led the CBI as its president from 2018 to 2020.
Three of those allegations were “vigorously denied” by Allan, Tesco said, adding that Allan had “unreservedly apologized” for the other — a comment he made about a woman’s dress at an event in 2019.
One of the allegations related to Tesco’s annual meeting in 2022. The grocer said it carried out an extensive review of the allegation and didn’t identify any evidence or complaints following the meeting.
Allan insisted in an interview with Sky News in June that he’s “completely innocent” of accusations that he behaved inappropriately toward women. He said there was “absolutely no substance” to the allegations and that his “conscience is completely clear.” Allan also stepped down as chairman at Barratt Developments Plc in May.
The CBI in June won the support of 93% of members who voted in a poll to decide its future, as the scandal-hit lobby group fights for survival. It had asked its members to support a reform program aimed at winning back trust following multiple allegations of sexual assault among its staff, including two from women who said they were raped.
--With assistance from Sabah Meddings.
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