Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Breaking Buzz: Corporate Director of Fresh Foods Jim Jensen Leaves Tesco's Fresh & Easy

Jim Jensen, the director of fresh foods for Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, has left the company, Fresh & Easy Buzz has learned.

According to our sources, Mr. Jensen left Fresh & Easy on December 30. He is no longer employed by Tesco plc in any capacity.

Sources tell us Jim Jensen left Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market to accept a new position with the Walgreens drug chain at its corporate headquarters in Illinois.

Interestingly, if Jim Jensen does join Walgreens, as our sources tell us he is, he will join another Tesco Fresh & Easy alum, former vice president of retail operations Brian Pugh.

Jim Jensen became director of fresh foods at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's corporate headquarters in El Segundo, (Southern) California just 17 months ago, when he was promoted to that position from his then position as category manager for bakery. Bakery is part of the fresh foods department. [Read our August 17 and August 22 stories here for additional background: [August 17, 2008: Special Report: Tesco Fresh & Easy's Director of Grocery Returning to the UK; Grocery Chain Reorganizing its Corporate Buying Department] August 22, 2008: Special Report: Today Last Day For Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Director of Grocery Charlotte Maxwell; Moving Back to Tesco in the UK]

Tesco's Fresh & Easy breaks its corporate merchandising and buying function (which it calls commercial, using the British term) into two functional departments: Grocery and Fresh. Each department is headed by a director, which are the top corporate operational merchandising and buying positions at corporate headquarters.

All of the merchandising and buying department category managers report to the two directors.

The two directors of grocery and fresh report to the vice president of commercial (corporate merchandising and buying).

The grocery merchandising-buying department includes all packaged food and grocery items, along with non-foods.

The fresh department includes fresh produce, meats, bakery, other perishables and the grocer's ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat fresh, prepared foods (entrees, side dishes, ect.)

Tesco's Fresh & Easy has yet to name a replacement for Mr. Jensen, according to our sources.

Jim Jensen is the second merchandising-buying director to leave Tesco's Fresh & Easy in the last 17 months.

Charlotte Maxwell, the former director of grocery merchandising, left her position in August 2008.

Ms. Maxwell was replaced by the then director of fresh foods, Sean McCurley.

Jim Jensen was then promoted to director of fresh foods, filling Mr. McCurley's position.

As we've reported in the past, Tesco's Fresh & Easy has experienced considerable employee turnover in its corporate merchandising and buying departments since 2007, with numerous category managers and buyers leaving the company. [August 17, 2008: Special Report: Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Experiencing A Category Manager and Buyer 'Brain Drain']

One of our sources tells us Tesco could replace Jim Jensen at Fresh & Easy's El Segundo, California corporate headquarters with a merchandising-buying executive from Tesco headquarters in the United Kingdom. However no replacement has yet been named, based on our information.

Related Stories From Fresh & Easy Buzz:

[Follow Fresh & Easy Buzz on for the latest news and information at]


Anonymous said...

Not surprised as a former F&E HQ employee that he left. Few if any of the buyers there now were even there 2 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I think they will replace him with someone from United Kingdom Tesco operations because of the position's focus on the fresh ready meals.

Fresh & Easy Buzz said...

Some publications that have picked up this story, which we broke on January 6, 2010:

The Packer: Jan 8, 2010:

The Market Basket Report: Jan 8 2010:

Supermarket News: Jan 8 2010: (without attribution)