Tesco chairman John Allan has resigned from his position after allegations against him over his conduct.
The former president of the CBI business lobby group has strongly denied three out of four claims made against him.
Board member Byron Grote will temporarily assume the role of chairman, expressing concerns that these allegations could become a distraction for Tesco.
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The supermarket stated that no findings of wrongdoing were made after conducting an internal review.
The allegations against Mr. Allan, as reported by The Guardian, include claims of inappropriate behavior towards a Tesco employee during the company’s annual shareholder meeting last year.
Another accusation involves an incident at a CBI event in 2019, where it was alleged that Mr. Allan “grabbed” an employee. He has firmly denied these claims, stating they are false.
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There is also an allegation regarding a comment he made about a CBI staff member’s appearance in 2021, which Mr. Allan does not recall.
However, he admitted to making a comment about a dress suiting a female CBI worker’s figure in 2019 and apologized immediately, expressing regret for his actions.
Mr. Allan, who has served as Tesco’s chairman for eight years, will step down in June. He expressed regret over the anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations made against him.
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Tesco initiated an extensive review of the claims, asking colleagues to come forward with any concerns about conduct, particularly at the Tesco 2022 annual general meeting.
The retailer reviewed video footage of the event and internal complaint records.
Although no complaints were received and no wrongdoing was found, the allegations were deemed potentially distracting to the company.
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Byron Grote, speaking on behalf of the Tesco board, thanked Mr. Allan for his significant contribution to the business and emphasized that no complaints or findings of wrongdoing were made.
Mr. Allan maintained his innocence and highlighted the absence of evidence of any misconduct during his time as chairman.
In a separate matter, the CBI, Britain’s largest lobby group, is also facing allegations of sexual misconduct, including two allegations of rape currently under investigation by the City of London Police.
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Following an external investigation, the CBI acknowledged the presence of a “culturally toxic” environment and its failure to address sexual harassment issues promptly.
Some staff members have been dismissed, and Rain Newton-Smith has been appointed as the new director general, replacing Tony Danker, who was fired in April due to unrelated workplace misconduct complaints.
Mr. Danker apologised for making some staff members uncomfortable and denied association with separate claims that occurred before his tenure.
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