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Christine Heffernan was elevated to the top communications job at the UK’s biggest supermarket in 2019, after five years with the firm, most of which had been spent as director of corporate affairs for Tesco in Ireland. In these roles, she worked as part of a team transforming the Irish business and its communications to rebuild trust in the brand.
At the time of her appointment as group communications director, then-Tesco CEO Sir Dave Lewis said she brought “a wealth of experience and business insight” to the role, as well as “energy and deep communications expertise”. Like the other big supermarkets, Tesco weathered the Covid storm relatively well in comms terms, focusing on its loyalty proposition by supporting communities and key workers.
More recent communications challenges for the group have included demonstrating that the supermarket is doing everything it can to alleviate the cost of living crisis, including cutting the prices of everyday items, plus dealing with some uncomfortable headlines around chair John Allan having to step down after allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female employee.
Before joining Tesco in 2014, Heffernan had been head of PR at Irish energy company Bord Gais, and spent four years in senior comms roles at Vodafone Ireland. Early in her career, she worked for the European Parliament and as a policy advisor to the Treasury in London.
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