Boss of Tesco restaurant strategy vacates position

The leadership of Tesco’s in-store restaurant operations remained unclear this morning after it was reported that the executive tasked with running the business has departed.

Michael Holmes, chief executive of new food experiences at Tesco, who oversaw brands such as Harris + Hoole and Giraffe, is understood to have become the latest big name to leave the supermarket giant.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Holmes is understood to have “fallen victim” to new chief executive Dave Lewis’ overhaul of the company. Lewis is wielding a series of major strategic changes at the company, including the restructuring of the senior management team, following his arrival last year.

As well as Giraffe and Harris + Hoole, the division that Holmes formerly headed includes Euphorium bakeries and Decks, Tesco’s own in-store restaurant brand. He also had responsibility for Dobbies garden centres and the One Stop convenience stores.

Under previous boss Philip Clarke, the supermarket pursued a strategy of opening food and beverage outlets in a bid to make its larger stores ‘destinations’ for customers.

When Tesco bought Giraffe two years ago, group commercial director Kevin Grace said: “We have the opportunity to develop some of the space in our larger stores to create retail destinations that offer customers even more choice. Giraffe is hugely popular with a wide range of ages and particularly families — we think our customers will love it.”

Holmes was in the role for almost three years and joined Tesco nine years ago. Tesco said it would not comment on individual departures.