TESCO’S U.K. CHIEF EXECUTIVE STEPS DOWN: Tesco Plc said Thursday that Richard Brasher, Tesco’s chief executive for the U.K. and Republic of Ireland, has stepped down from the company’s board with immediate effect and will leave the company in July. The move follows a decision by the company’s group chief executive, Philip Clarke, to also take on responsibility for the retailer’s U.K. operations. That change comes after Tesco issued its first profit warning in 20 years in January, following poor Christmas trading, which led to a 16 percent fall in its share price. Brasher had originally been promoted to the U.K. ceo role just a year ago, and had held various positions at the retailer since he joined the company in 1986.  Clarke said in a statement: “I have decided to assume responsibility as ceo for our U.K. business at this very important time,” he stated. “This greater focus will allow me to oversee the improvements that are so important for customers. I completely understand why Richard has decided to leave and want to thank him for the great contribution he has made over many years.”

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