No-one has been running Tesco's finance for months
Even though chairman Sir Richard Broadbent said that the former finance director Laurie McIlwee had been working on a part-time basis (with the fabulous job title of 'CFO Emeritus') since quitting, turns out that was a load of cobblers and that Tesco are running their multinational company like a provincial chip shop.
It looks like Sir Richard’s position is somewhat untenable, what with this and the small matter of Tesco’s £250m profit shortfall.
Tesco announced that McIlwee’s replacement, Alan Stewart, was being brought in two months ahead of when he was supposed to start, presumably ringing him up and saying; 'Can you start early mate? We need to get things running professionally again and we're running out of a bollocks to drop.'
Sir Broadbent was asked about McIlwee's absence and he said that he "was available to us to oversee that transition but he has not been in the office this weekend." adding that: "He’s not in the office because, as I said, he was not directly involved and has not been directly involved in the recent days and weeks."
Basically, since McIlwee quit, Tesco have been issuing profit warnings all over the place. It has been quite extraordinary.
In the statement last night, Tesco said: “Tesco stated on the 4th of April that until he officially left the company in October, Laurie McIlwee would be available to carry out transitional activities and support handover with colleagues as required."
"During the transition period Laurie has in fact not been called upon by Tesco and has not been involved or had any input to any financial matters or held any position of responsibility in the company."
The result of all this is City investors, who are dumping tens of millions of Tesco shares. The whole company, it seems, is about as slick as peanut brittle drying in your hair.
There's inevitably going to be more laughs to be had at Tesco's expense. They really are a farce.