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In the UK, the Independent reports that former Tesco CEO Lord Ian MacLaurin is urging company shareholders to give current CEO Philip Clarke more time to turn around the troubled retailer's fortunes.

The comments come about a year after MacLaurin blasted his immediate successor Sir Terry Leahy, accusing him of leaving a "sad legacy" that has hurt the company's sales and profitability. MacLaurin singled out the Leahy-led Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets adventure in the US as "disastrous." At the company's annual shareholders meeting, MacLaurin said: "I think you would probably agree with me that when you judge the performance of a chief executive, you not only judge the performance of his day-to-day operation, but you also have to judge his legacy and I think we're all very sad to see the legacy Sir Terry Leahy has left."

In his new comments, coming just before another shareholders meeting at which Clarke is expected to be severely roasted by stockholders, MacLaurin urged patience … and took another shot at Leahy.

MacLaurin said, "I think Philip is under more pressure this year but it will take at least three years to turn Tesco around. The City is very short term and he needs some time to do it. I stand by what I said last year: the judgment of a good chief executive, and I’m not just talking about Terry, is how he leaves it for his successor. If you’re a good chief executive, you have to leave it in good shape, otherwise the incumbent has an uphill task.

“When Terry left Tesco he had left a US business that was wasting huge amounts of money and an underinvested UK business. Of course, it is going to be tough for Philip. I know from experience how long it takes to turn the business around.”

The irony, of course, is that the Fresh & Easy debacle was run by Tim Mason, MacLaurin's son-in-law.
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