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Sir Terry Leahy
Born Terence Patrick Leahy
28 February 1956 (1956-02-28) (age 54)
Belle Vale, Liverpool, England, U.K.
Nationality English
Occupation Chief Executive Officer
Employer Tesco
Salary £1.3 million [1]

Sir Terry Leahy (born 28 February 1956)[2] is the CEO of Tesco,[2] the largest British supermarket chain. He lives in Cuffley, Hertfordshire,[3] with his wife, Alison and his three children.[4]

His annual salary from Tesco is £1.3 million.[1]




Early life

Leahy was born and grew up in Belle Vale district of Liverpool, the third of four brothers [4]. He attended St. Edward's College[2] which was, at the time, a Catholic direct grant grammar school.[5] Leahy had worked briefly stacking shelves and washing floors in the Wandsworth, London branch of Tesco in school holidays, travelling to London because he could not find work in Liverpool.[6] He was the only one of his brothers who didn't leave school at the age of sixteen[6] and graduated from UMIST with an Upper Second Class honours in Management Sciences in 1977.[7]


Following his then girlfriend to London, he applied to become a product manager for Turkey Foil but was turned down. He applied for a job at Tesco, but lost out to another candidate. After that candidate was quickly reassigned upwards, Leahy returned to Tesco in 1979 as a marketing executive.[2]

Tesco was a resolute market follower of the two leading brands, Marks & Spencer as the then world's most profitable retailer, and Sainsburys as the world's most profitable food retailer. Leahy concluded that Tesco should stop following a strategy of catch-up and start leading through market knowledge, which lead to his success in devising and implementing the Tesco Clubcard loyalty program and also successfully monitoring the shopping habits, movements, political opinions and even sexual activity of Clubcard holders.

Leahy was appointed to the board in 1992, and in 1995 Tesco became the UK's biggest retailer. Leahy became chief executive in 1997,[2] on the retirement of mentor Lord MacLaurin who wanted to appoint a successor to lead international expansion and increased market share. Tesco has stretched its lead as the UK's largest retailer since then and has grown significantly internationally, while Leahy continues to visit a Tesco store somewhere every week, normally on a Friday.

Following Tesco's announcement of £2 billion in profits in April 2005, Leahy hit back against protests that the company was "too successful".


Leahy was chosen as Britain's "Business Leader of the Year" in 2003 and the Fortune European Businessman of the Year for 2004.[7] In 2005 he was selected as Britain's most admired business leader by Management Today,[8] and a Guardian Unlimited Politics panel found him to be the most influential non-elected person in Britain in 2007.[9] In 2006, Leahy came 3rd place in the annual Rear of the Year competition.

Leahy was granted the freedom of the city of Liverpool and knighted in 2002.[4] He was Chancellor of UMIST, his alma mater, from that year until 1 October 2004, when he became a co-chancellor of the newly-formed University of Manchester.[10] He has been honoured with a Doctor of Science from Cranfield University on 7 June 2007. [11]

Everton Football Club

Leahy is an Everton Football Club supporter and is a special advisor to the club.[12] He is also part of a proposed ground move to Kirkby which would have a new ground with a Tesco supermarket, a hotel, a range of high street shops and extensive car parking.[13]


  1. ^ a b Finch, Julia (14 May 2008). "Profile: Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 16 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sir Terry Leahy". The Economist. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  3. ^ "Gran in Tesco boss planning war". BBC. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  4. ^ a b c "Profile: Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy". BBC. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  5. ^ "St. Edward's College - History". Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Sir Terry Leahy: The 'Robert Mugabe of retail' bites back". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Terry Leahy". University of Manchester. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  8. ^ "Retail star hit by tall poppy syndrome". The Times.,,8210-1866702,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  9. ^ "Guardian Unlimited Politics top 50". The Guardian.,,2058199,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  10. ^ "Senior Officers". University of Manchester. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  11. ^ "Cranfield honours Tesco boss". Retrieved 13 January 2009. 
  12. ^ "Sir Terry joins blues". Everton F.C.. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
  13. ^ "Blues choose Kirkby site". icLiverpool. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 


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