Terry Leahy

For the Irish hurler, see Terry Leahy (hurler). For the Australian rules footballer, see Terry Leahy (footballer).
Sir Terry Leahy
Born Terence Patrick Leahy
(1956-02-28) 28 February 1956
Belle Vale, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK
Nationality British
Known for CEO of Tesco Stores
Religion Roman Catholicism

Sir Terence Patrick "Terry" Leahy (born 28 February 1956)[1] is a British businessman, previously the CEO of Tesco,[1] the largest British retailer and the third-largest retailer in the world measured by revenues.

He now lives in Cuffley, Hertfordshire,[2] with his wife, Alison and his three children.[3]

Early life

Born in Belle Vale, Liverpool to Irish immigrants, Leahy grew up in a prefabricated home in Endbrook Road. His father, a merchant seaman, was injured in World War II and worked as a bookmaker to support the family. Leahy attended Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School, L25. He passed the 11+ exam and earned a scholarship to attend St. Edward's College, Liverpool a direct grant grammar school. He credits these institutions as providing scaffolding for ascent out of an impoverished background. He began working (including a job stacking shelves at Tesco) and went on to study at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) where he gained his BSc (Hons) in Management Sciences and graduated in 1977.

Tesco career

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.[1]

Tesco was a resolute market follower of the two leading brands, Marks & Spencer as the then world's most profitable retailer, and Sainsbury's 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 led to his success in devising and implementing the Tesco Clubcard loyalty programme and also successfully monitoring the shopping habits 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,[1] on the retirement of mentor Lord MacLaurin who wanted to appoint a successor to lead international expansion and increased market share. Tesco stretched its lead as the UK's largest retailer and also grew internationally: Leahy continued 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". During his tenure, he increased the company's UK market share from 20pc to 30pc.[4]

On 8 June 2010, Tesco announced that Leahy was to retire as chief executive in March 2011.[5] Leahy has been paid £8.42m in performance related bonuses since his departure from Tesco, in addition to a pension pot worth £18.4m at the time of his departure.[6] Since then he has focused on startup investments.


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]

Leahy was granted the freedom of the city of Liverpool and knighted in 2002.[3] He was Chancellor of UMIST, his alma mater, from 2002 until 1 October 2004, when he became a co-chancellor of the University of Manchester, when UMIST re-joined the main university.[10] He was given an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Cranfield University on 7 June 2007. [11]

In 2010, “The Tablet” named him as one of Britain’s most influential Roman Catholics.[12]

Career (Other)

Sir Terry joined B&M Retail's Board as Chairman in December 2012. Sir Terry is a senior adviser to CD&R. He is also currently a Director of Blackcircles.com. [13]

Everton Football Club

Leahy is an Everton Football Club supporter and is a special advisor to the club.[14] 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.[15]


Author of ‘Management in 10 Words’ published by Random House Business Books 7 June 2012


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Sir Terry Leahy". The Economist. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  2. "Gran in Tesco boss planning war". BBC. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  3. 1 2 Madslien, Jorn (2004-04-20). "Profile: Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy". BBC. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  4. The Telegraph. The Telegraph. 2 Feb 2014 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/10613346/Sir-Terry-Leahy-to-return-to-stock-market-with-BandM.html. Retrieved 25 February 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy to retire". BBC News. BBC. 8 June 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2010.
  6. "Payouts to former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy since retirement top £8m". The Guardian. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  7. "Terry Leahy". University of Manchester. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  8. Searjeant, Graham (2005-11-11). "Retail star hit by tall poppy syndrome". London: The Times. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  9. "Guardian Unlimited Politics top 50". London: The Guardian. 2007-04-16. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  10. "Senior Officers". University of Manchester. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  11. "Cranfield honours Tesco boss". Retrieved 13 January 2009.
  12. "The Tablet's Top 100".
  13. http://www.bandmretail.com/about-us/corporate-governance/board.aspx. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. "Sir Terry joins blues". Everton F.C. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
  15. "Blues choose Kirkby site". icLiverpool. Retrieved 2008-09-01.

See also

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/29/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.