Sir Terry Leahy

Tesco PLC
Inducted 2008

Sir Terry Leahy is the former Chief Executive Officer of Tesco. As a young man, Terry Leahy worked school vacations as a stock keeper at a Tesco store in London. After graduating with a degree in Management Sciences from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, he accepted a position with the Tesco company in 1979.

Five years later, he was marketing director of Tesco Stores, Ltd. Appointed to the Tesco board in 1992, he became deputy managing director of the company in 1995 and chief executive in 1997. In 2002, he was made a knight of the British Empire. Sir Terry has widely been credited with transforming Tesco into the third largest retailer in the world.

With private label penetration estimated to be as great as 50% or more, the British supermarket chain on his watch has also taken the lead as that country’s largest retailer. Terry Leahy’s attitude on private label, was that when Tesco suppliers came up with a new product, improvement, or innovation, he expected them as a matter of course to offer these as private labels first to Tesco — regardless of whether they intended to introduce the product as a branded item.