Could Jago say auf wiedersehen to Tesco?

on 13 March, 2015

Just when it seemed like a degree of normality was descending on Cheshunt, the stage could be set for yet another twist in the Tesco tale.

Wine boss Dan Jago has barely got his feet back under the desk, and it could be that he’s not planning to get too comfy, amid rumours he is being courted for the top job at Majestic.

It’s a remarkable turn of events after just four days back in his new global role, having been reinstated following an investigation into the Tesco’s accounting black hole.

The Tesco affair rocked the industry and Jago is the second of the retailer’s executives to have their suspension overturned.

Jago told me last week of his delight at being reinstated and his enthusiasm for rolling his sleeves up and getting stuck into the job he has taken up at Tesco.

His return draws a line under a particularly challenging time and the desire to get his career off the pause button and back in play is entirely understandable. But being exonerated and clearing his name of any wrongdoing is the catalyst that gives him back control of his own destiny.

Jago is emphatic that his new position at Tesco isn’t a demotion, explaining his global role still gives him input into how the UK wine business is run, albeit with Gavin Warburton, now category director for beers, wine and spirits, obviously keen to make his mark.

But there can be no doubt that the Tesco Jago rejoined this week is a very different beast to the one he left four months ago.

Every supermarket has been forced to completely redefine its model to keep hold of customers and the environment is more aggressive than we’ve ever seen.

At the same time, Majestic is also embattled in its own troubles as it fights to maintain relevance and claw back value for shareholders.

The current challenges facing retailers mean it couldn’t be a worse time to be operating with the absence of strong leadership and Majestic will be under significant pressure from the City to find a chief executive who is up to the task – and fast.

Whether Jago is considered to be the candidate with the required pedigree – or is even interested in jumping ship – remains to be seen.

And, of course, we don't know if any other names are in the frame.

But, with the wine world gathering in Germany for Prowein next week, it’s certain to be a hot topic of conversation as the trade digests the latest strand to one of the most remarkable sagas in recent retailing history. 

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