Tesco boosts comms with Blair adviser and Olympics media chief

Tesco is bolstering its PR and lobbying capability with two heavyweight hires as the Government conducts a review into the future of the high street.

Tesco: UK comms team is led by David North
Tesco: UK comms team is led by David North

PRWeek can reveal that the UK's biggest supermarket chain has appointed Tom Curry, head of media at the Olympic Delivery Authority, to the newly created role of UK comms director.

The retail giant has also recruited one of Tony Blair's closest advisers as government affairs manager.

Victoria Gould currently serves as head of events and visits for the former prime minister.

Both are due to join Tesco in September as part of the UK comms team led by corporate affairs director David North, a former private secretary to Blair in Downing Street.

North said that the hires were part of a plan to expand the comms team following a reorganisation of the business in March, when Richard Brasher was promoted to UK chief executive.

They also come two months after the Department for Business Innovation and Skills announced an independent review into the future of the high street, led by the broadcaster and retail guru Mary Portas.

Since the general election, the big four supermarket chains have opened more than 400 new stores and Labour has called for a 'competition test' to prevent grocery retailers acquiring a dominant position in a locality.

Curry joined the ODA - charged with establishing London's Games infrastructure by 2012 - in 2008, having previously worked at Weber Shandwick.

Gould has been employed by the Office of Tony Blair since it was set up in 2007 and was described by the Daily Mail last year as 'crucial to the smooth running of "Team Tony"'.


Tesco PR chiefs

Lucy Neville-Rolfe Group executive director (corporate & legal)
Trevor Datson Group media director
Tom Hoskin Group head of corporate media
David North UK corporate affairs director
Emma Reynolds UK government affairs director
Amy Jackson and Adam Williams UK government affairs managers

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