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The Wall Street Journal reports on the comments of a management expert, Andre Spicer, professor of organizational behavior at Cass Business School in London, who suggests that Tesco's corporate culture hasn't changed very much since a C-level shakeup and the revelation of accounting misdeeds.

It was just last week that the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charged three former Tesco executives with false accounting practices, related to the company's systematic and systemic underestimation of costs and overstatement of revenues as a way of bolstering its stock price. And it was two years ago that Tesco replaced CEO Philip Clarke with Dave Lewis, who has been trying to deal with increased competition while focusing on core businesses and at the same time remaking the company's culture.

While "Tesco has made a big deal about changing its corporate culture,” Spicer tells the Journal, "It is doubtful though that much has changed over the course of the past two years ... You can replace the CEO, you can replace senior management. But it takes much longer to change the corporate culture of a company.”

Indeed, the Journal writes that "A recent report published by the Institute of Directors, a British organization for company directors, ranked Tesco’s corporate governance as the lowest of the companies in the FTSE 100 Index due to low scores for accounting and audit practices.

Tesco maintains that "the last two years have seen an extensive program of change at Tesco."
KC's View:
I'd be less concerned about Spicer's comments than I would be about the corporate governance findings. Just on the surface, there's no excuse for that ... and it creates the image that many of the changes at Tesco have been cosmetic.