Three executives leave Tesco as probe into £263m accounts black hole goes on

​TESCO ​has parted company with three of the eight executives who were asked to step aside amid its probe into a £263​m accounting black hole.


​It is understood that group commercial director Kevin Grace, UK finance director Carl Rogberg and UK food commercial director John Scouler left the company on Wednesday. Tesco declined to comment.

Britain’s biggest supermarket is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over an overstatement of its half-year profit expectations.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

It has suspended a number of executives after it first disclosed the error in September. They include UK managing director Chris Bush.

Chief executive Dave Lewis said the suspensions w​ould allow a “full and frank” investigation and that they were not disciplinary or an indication of guilt.

A probe by Deloitte into the affair, which involved rebates from suppliers being moved around to different periods on the accounts, found it had been overstating its profits for years.

Chairman Sir Richard Broadbent has already said he is preparing to step down to show someone was “carrying the can” for the scandal, which he described as “a matter of profound regret”.

Pay-offs totalling around £2​m to departed chief executive Philip Clarke and former finance director Laurie McIlwee have been suspended pending investigations.

The scandal has dominated Mr Lewis’s tenure since he started in September as he battles sliding sales. Last month Tesco reported a 92​ per cent​ fall in half-year profits.

Mr Lewis has tried to draw a line under the accounting episode​, b​ut in its aftermath the supermarket has had to re-write its rules on dealing with suppliers and admitted this would hit second-half profits.

The chief executive has brushed off any suggestion of fraud in relation to the affair, saying no one had gained financially from it.