Tesco Mobile CEO Lance Batchelor is quitting Tesco in March 'to pursue other opportunities', Mobile can reveal.
He will be replaced by Tesco's commercial director Graham Harris.
A Tesco spokeswoman confirmed Batchelor’s departure. She insisted Batchelor was leaving by choice to pursue ‘an amazing, brilliant opportunity,’ but declined to give details of Batchelor’s new post.
She told Mobile: 'Lance Batchelor is to leave at the end of this financial year to pursue other interests and take up other opportunities. Graham Harris will take on his role as CEO of Tesco Telecoms and Tesco Mobile.'
She refuted industry speculation that Bachelor was leaving under a cloud, pointing to Tesco’s latest trading figures for Christmas 2010, which revealed that, despite the bad weather, Tesco Mobile had increased its customer base to more than 2.5 million customers.
She said: ‘Nothing could be further from the truth. Tesco Mobile is performing excellently under Lance Batchelor’s leadership, as our latest trading figures show, and we are very sorry to lose him but he is leaving to pursue a brilliant, new opportunity for himself.’
The spokeswoman declined to reveal Batchelor’s new post.
Batchelor joined Tesco in 2007 as marketing director, rising rapidly up the ranks to become CEO of Tesco Mobile and Tesco Telecoms. He was previously marketing director at Vodafone.
Under Batchelor’s leadership Tesco Mobile has seen rapid growth, opening over 200 Tesco Mobile stores to date and with a brief to deliver 500 instore shops by 2013. This will place it as the third largest UK mobile retailer, after the combined offering of Orange and T-Mobile, which has 613 shops and Carphone which has 813 shops.