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As management jobs cut...

Sainsbury’s CEO Coupe leaving, replaced by Roberts

Sainsbury's Local

Jobs will be lost in a streamlining task (pic: Terry Murden)

Sainsbury’s is replacing chief executive Mike Coupe with high street veteran Simon Roberts.

The change at the top came as the company announced it is cutting hundreds of management jobs across different areas of the business, as part of efforts to “streamline” its structure.

Mr Coupe told staff that “while change can be hard, it’s also necessary”.

The planned reduction in head count is a result of bringing teams together in its commercial, retail, finance, technology and HR divisions.

The board announced this morning that Mr Coupe will step down after almost six years as CEO and 15 working for the supermarket chain. He will retire at the end of May 2020. He will remain a director until the AGM on 2 July.

Mr Coupe led a failed attempt to merge the company with Asda.

The board has appointed retail and operations director Mr Roberts on a base salary of £875,000. His pension benefit will be 7.5% of salary, in line with the pension opportunity offered to the workforce generally.

Aged 48, he joined Sainsbury’s in his current post in July 2017 and has more than 30 years’ experience leading major UK retail brands, having spent 15 years at M&S and 13 years at Boots, where he became President of Boots UK.

Martin Scicluna, Chairman, said: “Mike is an exceptional chief executive. His knowledge and understanding of the retail sector and customer behaviour is second to none.”

He said he has been “bold and ambitious on behalf of our shareholders, customers and our colleagues”.

He added: “Simon has been extremely effective during his three years at Sainsbury’s, leading our store teams through great change in that time. Simon is a dedicated, determined and enthusiastic champion of the customer and of our colleagues and has overseen sustained improvements in our competitiveness during his time so far.”

Mr Coupe said: “I am proud that almost 20% of our total sales now come from our online channels and that we are becoming one multi brand, multi channel business, able to continue to evolve and adapt with customers’ ever changing needs.

“This has been a very difficult decision for me personally. There is never a good time to move on, but as we and the industry continue to evolve, I believe now is the right time for me to hand over to my successor.”

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