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WACL Speaker Dinner, Monday 30th October 2006

Oct 30, 2006 – 7:00 pm

Sir Terry Leahy (born 28 February 1956) is the CEO of Tesco, the largest British supermarket chain. He was knighted in 2002, and was Chancellor of UMIST, his alma mater, from that year until 1st October 2004 when he became co-chancellor of the newly formed University of Manchester.

He had worked briefly stacking shelves in the Wandsworth Tesco in school holidays. After graduating from UMIST, Leahy returned to Tesco in 1979 as a marketing executive. He was appointed to the board in 1992 and became chief executive in 1997. Tesco has stretched its lead as the UK's largest retailer since then, and also has grown significantly internationally. He was chosen as Britain's "Business Leader of the Year" in 2003 and the Fortune European Businessman of the Year for 2003. In 2005 he was selected as Britain's most admired business leader by Management Today. [1]

Following Tesco's announcement of £2 billion in profits in April 2005, Leahy hit back against protests that the company was "too successful". He argued that such protests against a successful company were unique to the UK.

Leahy was born and grew up in Liverpool where he attended St. Edward's College. He is the third of four brothers and the only one to receive a higher education. He has since been granted the freedom of the city of Liverpool. Sir Terry is an Everton Football Club supporter. As of 2004 he lives in North London.