Tesco brand director to leave after six years

Michelle McEttrick joined in 2015 and has helped transform performance of supermarket giant.

McEttrick: leaves Tesco after six years
McEttrick: leaves Tesco after six years

Michelle McEttrick is leaving her role as Tesco’s group brand director at the end of May after “completing” the turnaround of the brand embarked on in 2015.

Tesco’s brand metrics were in a sorry state when McEttrick, former CMO of global retail banking at Barclays and former business director at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, was appointed. It had a struggling reputation for food quality, value and service, and was facing growing competition from discounter rivals Aldi and Lidl. 

Since then, Tesco has overtaken all but one of its competitors in popularity, according to YouGov – while it is ranked number one among millennials and Generation X

Tesco’s agencies BBH and MediaCom, meanwhile, last year won the IPA Effectiveness Awards grand prix for their contribution to the supermarket’s turnaround.

McEttrick’s tenure at Tesco closely matched that of former chief executive Dave Lewis, who started three months after her and stepped down last September to be replaced by Ken Murphy. 

McEttrick last autumn entered Campaign’s Power 100 Hall of Fame after appearing in the list of the UK’s most influential marketers for five consecutive years.

“The brand turnaround is complete and in the past year the brand has gone from strength to strength,” McEttrick said. “Having done what I came to Tesco to do, there is now a great platform to build from so it’s the right time to step away and let the team take the reins.”

She will not be immediately replaced, with her direct reports now reporting into chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini. They include group customer propositions director Claire Pickthall, membership and loyalty director Tash Whitmey, and Simon Threadkell, group marketing director, brand design and customer experience.

Bellini said: "Michelle played a key role in delivering the turnaround of the Tesco brand, arguably one of the biggest and most scrutinised in the UK. She built a leading-edge team, recognised by the IPA Grand Prix last year. Her contribution to the business and our culture has been fantastic.”

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