Published on April 7, 2008
Steve Hammett, who is to take over as Tesco Lotus chief executive officer by the middle of the month, wants to make the company even more successful in Thailand.
"The Tesco Lotus business is already working very well and Thais love it. What I have to do is get to know the market and our own business. Continuity is key," said Hammett, who will take over from Jeff Adams as CEO.
Hammett has more than
20 years' experience with Tesco, including nine in
international operations. Most recently, he was in charge of business development, ex-ploring new territory start-ups.
Prior to that, he spent four years in Turkey as CEO of Tesco Turkey and five years in the Czech Republic.
"Things are the same rather than different. Consumers always demand good value and friendly service," he said.
Hammett has a strong background in operations, having served as stores director for hypermarkets in the United Kingdom, Tesco's operations director in the Czech Republic and CEO of Tesco's department store business in both the Czech and Slovak republics.
Adams, who will leave Thailand next month to head Tesco's business operations in the United States, said his greatest satisfaction in working in Thailand was to get the chance to travel extensively throughout the country and get to know what people really wanted.
"Thailand is a diverse country with different cultures
and customs in each of the regions. However, all consumers seem to want the same things - a wide range of quality products at a fair price. It
is all about having a choice
to spend their hard-earned money wisely and make it go a bit farther," he said.
"I believe this is the value that a company such as Tesco Lotus offers to the Thai people.
"My family and I will dearly miss Thailand, which we consider to be our second home."
A retail industry source said that Adams was a veteran and a pioneer of the modern retail business in Thailand. He developed Lotus Superstores under the CP Group into what Tesco Lotus is today.
Adams is credited with revolutionising Tesco Lotus's operations and IT system, which enabled the company to run the business more efficiently at lower cost.
At the same time, the company's enhanced logistics system could efficiently support the company's expansion plans.
As CEO, Adams was quick to detect market dynamics and the changing lifestyle and needs of consumers. This helped Tesco Lotus to establish itself as the country's leader in modern retailing, with over 70 hypermarkets and more than 300 Express stores.