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    Johnson brings-in ex Tesco boss to fix supply chain crisis

    Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

    Prime minister Boris Johnson on Friday (8) has turned to former Tesco boss Dave Lewis to fix supply chain problems that have hit the British economy.

    “Dave Lewis brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to the new role. He will advise the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 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,” said the government announcement.

    The government said Lewis, who starts the role on Monday (11), will advise both Johnson and Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay on both immediate improvements and any necessary long-term changes to the country’s supply chains for goods.

    “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 government added in a statement.

    Lewis, who was nicknamed “Drastic Dave” after fixing businesses at consumer goods group Unilever through cost cutting and innovative marketing, had led Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco for six years. 

    He has been taken-on for a three month stint as the government’s supply chain adviser. He will also work closely with Britain’s finance ministry and co-chair the government’s new Supply Chain Advisory Group, made up of external experts, and the new Industry Taskforce.

    A post-Brexit shortage of workers, exacerbated by the global strains of the Covid-19 crisis, has put strain on Britain’s supply chains affecting the supplies of almost everything from fuel and pork to poultry and bottled water, putting any recovery from the pandemic under threat.

    Johnson has been facing criticism over his response to the crisis.

    “I’m pleased that Sir David Lewis is joining the team who have been working on future-proofing our supply chains across the United Kingdom as we recover from the pandemic,” Johnson said of Lewis’ new role.

    “There are currently global supply issues which we are working with industry to mitigate and Dave brings a wealth of experience which will help us continue to protect our businesses and supply chains.”

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