Tesco appoints Booker’s Wilson as UK retail and wholesale CEO

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Tesco has announced Booker chief executive Charles Wilson will become CEO of the multiple’s retail and wholesale operations after completion of the groups’ merger. 

Britain’s biggest supermarket is expected to publish a full circular and prospectus of its £3.7bn takeover of Booker Wholesale later today, ahead of a final vote at the end of the month. Tesco also raised its profit forecast for the full 2017-18 year, slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations. 

Wilson will become chief executive officer of Tesco’s retail and wholesale operations in the UK and Ireland from the end of April, when current UK boss, Matt Davies, steps down from the role.

Tesco group chief executive Dave Lewis said: “I am delighted Charles will be joining the Tesco board and executive committee.

“He brings substantial commercial and retail experience and has an exceptional track record of increasing performance and driving growth in customer-focused businesses. Charles is ideally suited to lead the UK & ROI business for the combined group in the next phase of our turnaround.”

Tesco and Booker shareholders will vote on the takeover deal at a meeting on February 28 and completion is expected to take place on March 5.

Tesco expects to generate an operating profit of at least £1.575bn for the year ending February 24.

Readers' comments (12)

  • Go 'ed Charlie lad

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  • So all that puff about the benefit to shareholders, customers, staff really comes down to the fact that Charlie was recommending the deal because Charlie was on a promise. The great champion of the Independent didn't even have the decency to wait until the deal was done before he jumped ship.


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  • Tesco will take over or compete with the best Londis and Budgens stores. Booker warehouses will be used to supply caterers and as picking places for Tesco delivery. As for small Premier and Londis they will be left to die. As for the CMA opinion that Tesco ownership will mean lower prices for Booker customers, did they ask OneStop franchises if they got lower prices?

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  • Tesco's history is littered with one disaster after another as they attempted diversification. I have no doubt that Wholesale will follow on from that long list from cake shops to the USA fiasco.

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  • The upcoming test cases against Tesco will have a major effect if they lose.£4billion it will cost them in back wages.Lets hope so

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  • Best outcome for Booker retailers, CW heading up both sides. All the internal bickering between the 2 companies will be joined at the top and overridden.

    Its bloody exciting times ahead.

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  • Booker will be run separately and its non-tobacco sales are tiny in relation to Tesco. I give it a couple of years until it is described as "non-core" by a new CEO and disposed of. Sorry Steve but there is no upside for Booker retailers. Those expecting a Tesco sized own-label range at Tesco prices earning them decent margins really do need to seek medical attention.

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  • Got to agree with Felix. Costcutter are now boasting about listing 2000 Co-op own-label products. Most Costcutter stores don'/can't stock 2000 SKU's so how will that work? Shop full of only Co-op branded product selling at higher prices and without the Co-op 5% dividend on own-label? The expectations of the Tesco/Booker deal and the Co-op/Nisa/Costcutter deal are ridiculous.

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  • Tesco are reportedly planning a discount operation. The real new use for Booker sites?

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  • I think the Booker deal will have definite benefits for retailers in the short term. I agree with you Felix that any retailer expecting a Tesco own label range at Tesco prices can think again. But to say Tesco would be in a position to exit the wholesale market is crazy.

    They will consolidate it further, no question and THEY will benefit from the synergy buying opportunities of buying product at retail and catering grade. Booker retailers get a short term life line because lets face it the market is not working in anyone's favour. I don't know what alternative model anyone is calling for. I have said it many times... most convenience retailers sales are heavily in sugar, alcohol or tobacco, all unsustainable.

    Our symbol 'leaders' wont get away with filling promotion leaflets with these products for much longer. If there is a chance I can get 500 to 1000 sku's that produce higher sales, that resonate with the consumer (likely to be in the fresh food arena but not exclusively)...ill take it! We are so far off the pace with product and technology at present its not real.

    I do suspect however that the true independent retailer not signed up to some sort of agreement or franchise model will get diddly squat!



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