LONDON (AFP) – Troubled British supermarket giant Tesco announced on Monday that the former head of Swedish furniture giant Ikea and the current head of catering firm Compass have joined the group’s board.
Ikea’s ex-chief Mikael Ohlsson and Compass chief executive Richard Cousins will join Tesco’s board as non-executive directors with effect from November 1, the company said in a statement.
Ohlsson was chief executive officer and president of Ikea Group until September 2013. He worked for the Swedish giant for 34 years, carrying out a range of roles.
“I am delighted to welcome Mikael and Richard to the board and know that their broad skills and experience will be a real asset to the company in the coming years,” said Tesco chairman Richard Broadbent.
“Mikael and Richard have been updated on and are wholly supportive of the steps being taken by the new management team to rebuild trust in Tesco and to focus all the resources of the business to deliver value to our customers.”
The appointments come amid a crisis at Britain’s biggest retailer.
The Financial Conduct Authority launched a full probe into Tesco last Wednesday after the British supermarket chain revealed it had massively overstated its half-year earnings forecast.
Tesco stunned investors on September 22 when it said its profit for the six months to August 23 was overstated by an estimated $408 million.
Tesco is the world’s third-biggest supermarket group behind number two Carrefour and global leader Wal-Mart.
In home market Britain, Tesco faces fierce competition from German-owned discount retailers Aldi and Lidl, and also from traditional supermarket rivals Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury.