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Tesco CEO Dave Lewis gives employees a direct line for company-wide brainstorm

Tesco’s new chief executive Dave Lewis has issued a rallying call to troops, telling the company’s 500,000 employees to contact him directly with ideas on how to combat the retailer’s current market misfortune.

Dave Lewis was at Unilever for a quarter of a century

In his first official memo in the role, Lewis, a former Unilever executive, asked staff to help him help save Tesco - as it comes under siege from discount brands Aldi and Lidl.

Lewis this week replaced Philip Clarke, who resigned after the retailer saw a 33 per cent drop in stock in 2013.

Retail website, the Grocer, first posted Lewis' open letter to staff where he informed them of Tesco’s financial woes.

Lewis said: “You will know only too well that it has not been an easy time for our business. The retail market in all the countries where we operate has become extremely tough, and is changing faster than ever.

“We are losing market share in our largest market and we need to address this with urgency.

“I am looking forward to getting around the business and doing a lot of listening. In my first few days I will be talking to colleagues… and visiting as many of our businesses and stores as possible - listening to our customers and meeting as many of you as I can.

“I will also be meeting some of our shareholders and investment analysts.”

The email took a turn however when Lewis proved he meant business as chief executive, he told staff to contact him personally and “immediately" with ideas.

“I will always communicate openly and transparently with you and I’d like to encourage the same from you in return. I want to hear your thoughts and ideas.

“I want to hear what you think we could do differently or better. Hopefully we will get a chance to do this in person, but for the sake of immediacy please send any comments or ideas to me by email.”

Lewis concluded: “I know I can count on your support, and I’m looking forward to working with you.”

Last week a former Tesco executive suggested the store split into three separate retailers to better capture the luxury and budget markets.