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Sir Terry Leahy

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Renowned business leader Sir Terry Leahy receives Honorary Doctorate from Edge Hill University 

July 21, 2023

Sir Terry Leahy, credited with turning Tesco into one of the world’s leading supermarket chains, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Edge Hill University. 

Sir Terry, whose contribution to the retail industry spans five decades, successfully devised and implemented the Tesco Clubcard loyalty programme.  

On being awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration during the ceremony, Sir Terry said: “It’s a pleasure and an honour to be invited here to this outstanding, multi award-winning University that we are all present at today.” 

Addressing students during their graduation ceremony, Sir Terry congratulated and offered his words of advice: “You’ve worked hard for this, you should be proud and excited for the future.”  

Sir Terry Leahy

“To be a good leader, remember a leader will take you further than you will go on your own. As a leader it’s not always about what you do but how you inspire other people.

“The basis of leadership is trust and respect, make people feel good about themselves and trust them to do the job, showing you have confidence in them.

“Always be generous and treat everyone you meet the same, with respect, and remember no matter how successful you are you are no better than anyone else.

“And finally, enjoy the job you are in, the career will follow and build on those foundations. Never forget the people who have made it possible for you to be here today.” 

Edge Hill is committed to helping local businesses and during his visit, Sir Terry was shown around the University’s Tech Hub, which uses the latest technology and innovation to improve businesses. He also learnt about the award-winning SME Product and Innovation Centre’s work, which incorporates AI and data to help scale businesses up. 

Sir Terry Leahy

Following his tour of the campus, the CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environment) and the robotics labs, Sir Terry said: “It’s fascinating, it really is incredible the technology used and the developments around campus are really impressive.”

Sir Terry’s association with Tesco began in 1979 when he joined the firm as a Marketing Executive, rising to become Chief Executive in 1997. 

In recognition of his successful career, Sir Terry was granted Freedom of the City of Liverpool and awarded a Knighthood in 2002. He was also named Britain’s Business Leader of the Year in 2003, Future European Businessman of the Year in 2004 and Most Influential Non-Elected Person in Britain 2007.  

After leaving Tesco, Sir Terry went on to B&M Stores, where he was instrumental in more than doubling the number of outlets across the UK. He also steered the retailer onto the stock market, increasing revenue from £993m to £2.7bn. 

This year, the University also awarded Honorary Doctorates to award-winning journalist and TV presenter Clive Myrie, as well as CEO of Timpson Group, James Timpson. 

Find out more about Edge Hill’s prestigious recipients of honorary awards on its website

To discover more about our courses, please visit  

July 21, 2023


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