Tesco appoints new chief technology officer

Supermarket giant’s new CTO joins from Airbus and will continue to implement retailer’s digital transformation programme

Tesco has appointed Guus Dekkers as its new chief technology officer after previous CTO Edmond Mesrobian announced his retirement.

Dekkers, who will take up his role in April, will report to Tesco group CEO Dave Lewis and will aim to continue the digital transformation the retailer is has been working on for the past three years.

Tesco group CEO Dave Lewis said Dekkers “brings extremely strong expertise in driving large-scale IT transformations”.

Dekkers has been CIO and senior vice-president at Airbus for nine years, having previously held senior technology positions at firms such as Volkswagen, Johnson Controls Automotive Group, Siemens and Continental AG.

He said: “I am excited to be joining Tesco. I hope that my experience in large-scale IT transformations, advanced information technologies, business process optimisations and digital innovations will allow me to support Tesco in translating rapidly evolving technological and digital capabilities into innovative solutions, helping us to serve our customers a little better every day.”

Many supermarkets have been forced into the online world by a shift in consumer behaviour caused by firms such as Amazon, or online grocery businesses like Ocado, which cater to the customer’s need for immediacy and convenience.

Since departing CTO Mesrobian joined Tesco in 2015, his team has worked on a variety of projects, such as adopting agile product delivery and enhancing security.

Customers’ expectation of the retail shopping experience is on the rise because of technology adoption, which is having an impact on retailers as they attempt to develop and maintain an omni-channel business.  

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Tesco has experienced a drop in footfall for a number of its physical locations, despite an uplift in its online grocery business in 2015, and has previously blamed falling profits on its shift towards being an omni-channel retailer.

Although the supermarket said it would be cutting its IT budget back in 2014, it has not been shy about developing new digital capabilities, and since then has worked to develop a virtual reality shopping app for Google Glass devices, as well as a pilot for image recognition software for product placement in stores.

Most recently, Tesco announced an extension to its online delivery service which will enable consumers across the UK to order products for same-day delivery.

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