Tesco CMO Tim Mason out as chain concedes defeat in US

Tim Mason: leaves Tesco after 30 years
Tim Mason: leaves Tesco after 30 years

Tesco has handed Matt Atkinson the responsibilities of CMO Tim Mason, who is leaving the company today amid a strategic review of Fresh & Easy, the chain's attempt to break into the US.

Atkinson has been group marketing and digital officer at Tesco, reporting to Mason, since joining the company in summer 2011 from a role as group chief executive of Tesco agency EHS 4D.

He will retain his group marketing and digital officer title and now report directly into chief executive Philip Clarke.

Mason, also chief executive of Fresh & Easy and deputy group CEO of Tesco, had been with the company since 1982 and became marketing director of the UK operation, going on to spearhead the ambitious launch into the US in 2007.

However, Tesco today admitted defeat on its attempt to grow Fresh & Easy over the Atlantic, saying: "It is now clear that Fresh & Easy will not deliver acceptable shareholder returns on an appropriate timeframe in its current form."

According to a Tesco spokesman, Clarke decided it was not appropriate for Mason to lead the strategic review and as a result Mason is leaving.

Clarke praised Mason's contribution to the retailer but added: "It’s always sad when colleagues leave but it gives opportunities for others. I’m delighted with the team I’ve got and there will be more additions in the future."

All options are on the table as part of the review, including selling the chain or finding a partner.

It claims to have had "a number of approaches from parties interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with us to develop the Fresh & Easy business" in recent months.

Clarke said: "It’s likely but not certain our business in America will come to an end."

There are currently 199 Fresh & Easy stores, all based in Arizona, California and Nevada.

At the time of the launch of Fresh & Easy, Mason said: "The Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market format is designed to draw customers back to their local neighbourhoods by offering high quality, fresh and nutritious food at affordable prices."

The review of the US operations follows Tesco's decision earlier this year to exit Japan.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad