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Britain calls on ex-Tesco boss ‘Drastic Dave’ to fix supply chain

  • Former Tesco CEO Lewis named supply chain adviser
  • PM’s response to disaster has been criticised by enterprise
  • Lewis appointment is for 3 months

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Boris Johnson has turned to former Tesco (TSCO.L) boss Dave Lewis to fix supply chain issues which have hit the British financial system and sparked criticism of the Prime Minister’s response.

Lewis, who was nicknamed “Drastic Dave” after fixing companies at client items group Unilever (ULVR.L) by value reducing and modern advertising and marketing and led Britain’s largest retailer Tesco for six years, was named on Friday for a 3 month stint as the federal government’s supply chain adviser.

A post-Brexit scarcity of employees, exacerbated by the worldwide strains of the COVID-19 disaster, has hobbled Britain’s supply chains for every part from gasoline and pork to poultry and bottled water, placing any restoration from the pandemic below menace.

After Johnson confronted trade criticism for his response to the disaster, the appointment of the well-respected Lewis could also be seen as an olive department to the enterprise group.

The authorities mentioned Lewis, who begins the function on Monday, will advise each Johnson and Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay on each fast enhancements and any crucial long-term adjustments to the nation’s supply chains for items.

He may also work with authorities officers to rapidly resolve acute, quick time period points.

“This includes both identifying the causes of current blockages and pre-empting potential future ones, and advising on resolutions either through direct government action or through industry with government support,” the federal government added in a press release.

Lewis may also work carefully with Britain’s finance ministry and co-chair the federal government’s new Supply Chain Advisory Group, made up of exterior specialists, and the brand new Industry Taskforce.

“There are currently global supply issues which we are working with industry to mitigate and Dave brings a wealth of experience which will help us continue to protect our businesses and supply chains,” Johnson mentioned.

Tesco was on its knees shortly after Lewis joined in 2014 when an accounting scandal knocked thousands and thousands of kilos off its earnings and billions off its share worth.

He left in October final 12 months, having declared Tesco’s turnaround full, with its place as soon as once more strengthened because the clear market chief amongst Britain’s supermarkets. He was ennobled earlier this 12 months.

But not all retail gurus the British authorities has turned to in its hour of want have had such success.

The then prime minister David Cameron in 2010 commissioned a report on value financial savings in authorities by Philip Green.

The BHS division retailer collapsed six years later, a 12 months after Green bought it for a pound, leaving a yawning gap in its pension fund and a few 11,000 job losses, prompting calls for Green to be stripped of his knighthood.

Reporting by James Davey and Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper and Alexander Smith

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Dave Lewis, Tesco CEO, speaks at the the British Chamber of Commerce annual conference in London, Britain, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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