TESCO has asked another senior executive to step aside as part of the investigation into its recent £250m overstatement of profits.
The Financial Times reported that commercial director Kevin Grace is the fifth executive to be suspended while Deloitte carries out an independent review into the accounting black hole. Tesco declined to comment.
Four senior executives, including UK managing director Chris Bush, were asked to step aside two weeks ago when Tesco revealed that its most recent profits warning to the City in August was much too optimistic. Britain’s biggest supermarket group has issued a series of profit warnings.
New chief executive Dave Lewis said at the time that the suspensions would allow the company to carry out a ‘’full and frank’’ investigation and was not disciplinary or an indication of guilt.
Mr Grace, who joined Tesco in 1982, joined the executive committee in 2011 and has responsibility for commercial practice across its markets and sourcing from more than 70 countries worldwide.
He has held a number of roles including Tesco’s chief operating officer in South Korea and UK property director.
As well as the review by Deloitte, Tesco is the subject of an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The retailer beefed up its board this week by appointing Richard Cousins, chief executive of catering giant Compass, and Mikael Ohlsson, former boss of Ikea, as non-executive directors.