LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recruited former Tesco (TSCO.L) boss Dave Lewis as an advisor, tasking him with fixing the country’s supply chain problems that have hit the economy.
A post-Brexit shortage of workers exacerbated by the global strains of the COVID crisis has sown chaos through Britain’s supply chains for everything from fuel and pork to poultry and bottled water, threatening the recovery from the pandemic.
The government said Lewis will advise both Johnson and Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay on both immediate improvements and any necessary long-term changes to UK supply chains for goods, and will work with government officials to quickly resolve acute, short-term issues.
“This includes both identifying the causes of current blockages and pre-empting potential future ones, and advising on resolutions either through direct government action or through industry with government support,” the Prime Minister’s office said in a statement.
Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, was on its knees shortly after former Unilever (ULVR.L) executive Lewis joined in 2014 when an accounting scandal knocked millions of pounds off its profits and billions off its share price.
He left in October last year, having declared Tesco’s turnaround complete, with its position once again reinforced as the clear market leader among Britain’s supermarket groups.
Lewis has been appointed until the end of the year and will start on Monday.
Reporting by Sarah Young and James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton
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