Ex-Tesco CEO Leahy a Blackcircles ‘mentor’
According to The Independent, former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy is providing “mentoring services on an ad hoc basis” to Blackcircles.com. Leahy, who the newspaper describes as being an “acquaintance” of Blackcircles.com managing director Mike Welch, also disclosed that he owns a stake in the online tyre retailer. Yet while admitting being a shareholder for some three years now, Leahy stressed to the newspaper he had “no hand” in orchestrating the Tesco Tyres partnership between Blackcircles.com and the supermarket giant. Further distancing himself from potential mutterings over conflicts of interest, Sir Terry reports he informed Tesco chairman David Reid upon acquiring his share in Blackcircles.
Tesco-Tyres went live in January. At the time of the joint-venture’s launch, Mike Welch told Tyres & Accessories that Blackcircles.com was in the process of bringing in four “people at director level” who would “transform the business.” While any link between Sir Terry and this statement is just speculation, the value of Leahy’s knowledge and experience to Blackircles.com’s future development is unarguable. Leahy served as Tesco chief executive for 14 years, stepping down from the role in March 2011, and was with the company for a total of 32 years. He is credited with cementing the firm’s market-leading position and for driving its expansion into a number of international markets – two areas of interest to the online tyre retailer.