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Daily Telegraph (UK): Tesco loses place in admiration stakes: “…Shell slumped from the top ten to 64th place after its fall from grace…” ( 2 Dec 04


(Filed: 02/12/2004)


Tesco, the supermarket giant, has lost its rating as Britain's most admired company to confectionery group Cadbury Schweppes because of shortcomings in its community and environmental responsibility record.   


Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive, has, however, retained pole position as the executive his peers most admire but the company's slide down the league table from first to fourth is a blow to a business that prides itself on its social behaviour and contribution to the communities.


Tesco was given top marks by rivals on key ratings such as management and financial soundness but was well behind Marks & Spencer, Boots and Sainsbury's on its community record.


"It's a rough and tough business and it looks as if Tesco has paid the price for being rough and tough," said one executive involved in the exercise.


A Tesco spokesman said: "While it looks like we have work to do to convince some peer group companies of our corporate responsibility achievements, other independent research shows that the public and leading experts understand and welcome the contribution we make to improving communities and the environment."


While Tesco defended its record, the 600-plus executives and City analysts involved in selecting the winners, in an award scheme sponsored by Management Today in association with Mercer Human Resources Consulting, displayed little enthusiasm about the merits of the issue.


They rated the community and environmental responsibility category the least important among the nine yardsticks used. Cadbury Schweppes, with a top five place in six of the nine judging categories, jumped from seventh place to oust Tesco as the most admired company.


Unilever rose from sixth to second spot while BP dropped one place to fourth. Todd Stitzer, Cadbury's chief executive for the past two years, attributes the award to the efforts of 55,000 employees and the strong values introduced by "generations of people".


Pubs group Greene King was the fastest climber, soaring from 113th place to 11th while Shell slumped from the top ten to 64th place after its fall from grace.

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