Jo Hickson

Head of Innovation Lab, Tesco

Jo’s career has centred around technology-led innovation having discovered her inner geek many years ago. Jo gravitated to innovation because of her active imagination for what ‘could be’ and questioning of the status quo. Jo has worked in a variety of tech innovation roles in retail, travel, hospitality, gaming, consulting and telecommunications. Diving into the CV, those roles included Head of Technology at AKQA consultancy, Head of Innovation for TUI, Head of Innovation for Argos/Homebase/Habitat. All centred around identifying emerging technology opportunities and matching those with challenges in the business or strategic business goals, to drive growth and new value. Jo’s work has included robots and drones (for delivery), AI (for booking holidays), computer vision (frictionless checkout) and projects that leverage AR and VR.  

Jo currently heads the Innovation Lab team for Tesco Technology, a role she’s held for 5 years, and is also part of the Group Innovation team, a strategic innovation function reporting to the Tesco Executive. (Jo leaves Tesco in March to take up a role of Lab Director for H+M Group, working into Helena Helmersson the Group’s CEO). 
Tesco Labs is the research and development team within Tesco Technology. The team was conceived to shine light on future opportunities and challenges for Tesco businesses globally, and is focused on prototyping and testing new ideas in emerging technology areas that could significantly impact both our customers and our business. Examples include AI, computer vision, AR and VR, digital twins, robotics and more. The team collaborates with a range of partners, start-ups and universities to help solve real world problems. More information about the team can be found at