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British retailer Tesco forced to wait until October for new boss

A company logo is pictured outside a Tesco supermarket in Altrincham northern England.

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest retailer Tesco <TSCO.L> will have to wait until October before its new boss can start after his former employer Walgreens Boots Alliance <WBA.O> insisted he see out a non-compete agreement.

Tesco said in October last year that Chief Executive Dave Lewis was stepping down in the summer of 2020 after six years in the top job and would be succeeded by Irishman Ken Murphy. No start date was given at the time.

But the company said on Monday that Murphy would not start as CEO until Oct. 1 - a full year after his appointment was announced - after fully respecting his contractual commitments, including non-compete obligations, with his previous employer.

Tesco said Lewis had agreed to extend his tenure until Sept. 30 so as to facilitate "a smooth and seamless handover".

Murphy's start date means he will join a week before Tesco is scheduled to report first half results for its 2020-21 year.

Shares in Tesco were up 1.8% at 1158 GMT, extending its gains over the last year to 13%.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Costas Pitas and Jane Merriman)