Richard Brasher, boss of Tesco UK, has stepped down from the board, with Philip Clarke, chief executive of Tesco plc, to lead the charge with the UK business.

Brasher will leave the retailer in July, following the transition of the UK business to Clarke. The move follows the decision by Clarke to take a much closer involvement in the UK business, said Tesco.

Clarke said: “I have decided to assume responsibility as the CEO of our UK business at this very important time. This greater focus will allow me to oversee the improvements that are so important for customers.

“Richard will leave behind a UK business which has very strong plans for improvement and, over the last two months, these plans are beginning to show progress, in line with our expectations.”

Tesco’s share price has fallen -1.28% since 8am this morning, and currently stands at 320.52p per share (9.30am), significantly down from its 420.05p high point over the past 52 weeks.

In a trading update for the six weeks to 7 January 2012, announced earlier this year, the supermarket chain achieved only a 1.7% increase in UK total sales, including VAT and excluding petrol.

>>Tesco results "not about price" says chief exec

>>Tesco needs to invest for success argues analyst