Britain's biggest retailer is preparing to kick off a search for a new chairman, firing the starting gun on a race to fill one of the FTSE-100's most prestigious boardroom posts.
Sky News has learnt that Tesco is drawing up plans to begin identifying a replacement for John Allan, who will step down in 2024.
Under UK corporate governance rules, Mr Allan will be 'timed out' in just over a year, meaning he would no longer be regarded as an independent chairman after serving for nine years.
The search for his successor will be led internally by Byron Grote, the former BP finance chief, who himself is due to step down from the Tesco board next year.
City sources said that external headhunters were being appointed to assist with the process, which is expected to get underway formally in the first half of 2023.
Lygon Group, a search firm, has done much of Tesco's boardroom recruitment work in recent years.
Mr Allan, a former president of the CBI, has been an outspoken figure during his tenure as Tesco chairman, recently declaring that Labour was the only political party to have set out a credible economic growth plan.
He attended a business summit last week which featured speeches from Sir Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves, the Labour leader and shadow chancellor respectively.
Last year, he called for ministers to urgently relax visa restrictions to avert the prospect of Brexit-related supply chain problems.
Mr Allan is also in the process of bowing out as chairman of Barratt Developments, the FTSE-100 housebuilder, where the search for his successor is more advanced.