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Ex-Tesco chief Sir Dave Lewis hired as adviser by Morrisons owner

The owner of supermarket chain Morrisons has hired former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis as an adviser.

US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) bought Morrisons two years ago for around £7 billion.

However, the Bradford-based retailer has seen its share of the UK grocery market shrink recently amid the rapid growth of German discounter rivals Aldi and Lidl, who have seen increased sales amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Morrisons hired former Carrefour director Rami Baitieh as its new chief executive officer late last year, who reportedly told staff in December an urgent overhaul was needed to drive a turnaround at the debt-burdened business.

Morrisons takeover
Morrisons is the UK’s fifth largest supermarket group (Ian West/PA)

CD&R said on Monday it has hired Sir Dave Lewis to join the business as an operating adviser.

It said will provide experience to help support CD&R’s portfolio companies across Europe, which include Morrisons, and help the fund assess new opportunities in the consumer goods and retail sectors.

Sir Dave is best known for leading Tesco from 2014 to 2020, which included a major turnaround following the fallout of its accounting scandal.

He is currently also the chairman of Haleon, the consumer healthcare group behind brands such as Sensodyne, which was recently spun out of pharmaceutical firm GSK.

Dave Novak, CD&R co-president, said: “Dave is an exceptional executive and highly respected leader.

“His reputation for innovation, value creation and growth is outstanding.

“I believe his knowledge and experience, built up over three decades, will be of great value to CD&R funds as we consider new investments and continue to build stronger, more sustainable businesses across Europe.”

Sir Dave Lewis said: “I believe the depth of CD&R’s operating and investment expertise across the consumer goods, retail, and other sectors in Europe to be incredibly strong.

“I look forward to working with CD&R’s investment and operating teams, as well as the management teams of the firm’s portfolio companies to identify investment opportunities, support strong performance and create durable businesses fit for the future.”