Charles Wilson

Booker CEO Charles Wilson has announced that he is to retire after 15 years in the role.

He plans to retire in February 2021 and “take it a little easier”.

Wilson will be succeeded by Andrew Yaxley who is currently chief product officer for Tesco with a handover beginning immediately. In turn, Yaxley will be succeeded as chief product officer by Ashwin Prasad, who is promoted from his current role as commercial director for packaged food.

Tesco Group chief executive Dave Lewis said: “Charles’ reputation in the UK food business is unparalleled and for very good reason! The transformation of Booker over the last 15 years is one of the most remarkable business case studies in recent history. Since the merger with Tesco he has been a superb member of the Executive team and a brilliant colleague. Whilst we are very sad to see him retire, we completely understand and wish Charles and his family all the very best for the future. I know that he will stay a massive supporter of the Tesco/Booker business and he will always remain a friend to many colleagues.”

Booker chief executive Charles Wilson added: “I joined the Booker team 15 years ago. At that time Booker was challenged. Together we turned around the company, improved customer satisfaction and grew to be the leading Wholesaler. In 2018 we merged with Tesco. The merger is working well. Customer satisfaction has improved, our sales are up £1.5bn and we are proud to be part of Tesco. It has been a privilege serving our retail and catering customers and a pleasure working with a great team at Tesco/Booker.”

Wilson went on to explain the reasons for his retirement. “A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with throat cancer. I remain in remission but it is time to take things a little easier. I will retire next year to be replaced by Andrew Yaxley. Andrew will be a great leader of Booker within the Tesco Group. Andrew and I will ensure a smooth handover to maintain business as usual. It has been a huge privilege to be part of Booker and Tesco, and I look forward to seeing the group flourish in the years ahead.”