‘Tesco could have gone under’: how Dave Lewis saved the firm from disaster

The retailer’s departing boss did not solve all its problems. But the stable operation he leaves behind was in turmoil in 2014

When Dave Lewis took the helm of Tesco five years ago he whisked his 15 most senior managers off to a remote holiday cottage in Norfolk. There, the assembled executives were forced to step out of the executive bubble and get back to basics: shopping for food and cooking for themselves.

It was the autumn of 2014 and the retail giant was in crisis. Its dominance of the British grocery landscape had come to a messy end as it was forced to confront the scale of the shopper exodus from its supermarkets, where the prices had risen and standards had fallen.

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