PORTRAIT – Behind the image of an outstanding leader, hide darker sides of his personality.
Qualified as a manthoughtful», «measure», «weighted” And “balanceby those close to him, John Allan revealed a dark side of his personality. This expert of logistics is indeed targeted for inappropriate behavior and “ aulton several of his colleagues. The chairman of the board of directors of the British supermarket giant Tesco will thus step down at the general meeting of the group on June 16.
Last week, the media The Guardian revealed that John Allan, 74, allegedly touched the buttocks of a senior Tesco executive in June 2022, during a general meeting. And the facts don’t stop there. When he was president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), in 2018 and 2019, he also allegedly touched the buttocks of a member of staff at the 2019 annual dinner. John Allan also allegedly made inappropriate remarks towards two women, considered harment.
“Simply false” claims
For his part, the septuagenarian admitted, in half a word, to having had an inappropriate comment in 2019. He would have said to Carolyn Fairbair, then director general of the CBI, that her dress “suited her figure“. And this, onlyto cheer him up“, according to his words. According to a spokesperson for John Allan, he would have “immediately apologizedand claims that the other three charges are “simply wrong“.
Faced with this situation, the property developer Barratt has also decided to take action. The largest homebuilder in the UK, called on his services in 2014 and appointed him chairman. He will be removed from his post, “from June 30” next. The company wishes to avoidthat the impact of the allegations against John Allan disrupt society“. “My early departure from Barrat is the result [d’affirmations] anonymous and unsubstantiated, brought against me, which I vehemently deny“Defended the businessman, in a statement published Tuesday in the British press.
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“He knows how to talk to senior officials”
John Allen’s professional career had not known any pitfalls. After graduating in mathematics from the University of Edinburgh in 1970, he quickly rose through the ranks. He became managing director of Exel, a supply and logistics chain, in 2000, then financial director of the parcel delivery company Deutsche Post DHL Group, in 2007. A year earlier, he even received the Order of the British Empire for services rendered to the transport of goods.
In 2009, John Allan became vice-president of the retailer Dixons Carphone and told the Mail on Sunday that he “is not the responsibility of the chairman and the members of the board of directors to run the company, but to ensure that it is well managed, within the framework of good governance“. According to a statement from one of his colleges to the Financial Times, “he knows how to talk to senior officials and they listen to him“.
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A salary of 650,000 pounds per year
In February 2011, he got closer to the British crown when the Home Secretary, Theresa May, invites him to join his ministry. John Allan then becomes a non-executive member of its supervisory board, with the aim of contributing his commercial expertise. A few years later, in 2014, he took care of the merger between Dixons and Carphone Warehouse, for an amount of more than 3.8 billion pounds, or 4.6 billion euros. Since he joined Dixons, the share price has quadrupled, reinforcing his strong results.
He arrived in 2015 at the head of Tesco, one of Britain’s largest retail groups. According to information from GuardianJohn Allen was reportedly paid £650,000 a year for his role on the company’s board. And so he was also appointed president of the CBI in 2018 and 2019, then vice-president until October 2021, when he resigned, for no apparent reason.
Beyond his professional career, John Allan does not dwell on his private life. He has done very few media interviews and only speaks on rare occasions. In an article from FinancialTimes dating from 2011, the manager specified however that he frequently made trips to Scandinavia to supervise the activities of Dixons. During his travels, he thus acquired a taste for black Scandinavian novels and series, which reveal the dark underpinnings of contemporary society, such as murder, racism, or even misogyny.