Sainsbury’s has announced that its CEO Justin King will step down from his role in July after 10 years at the head of the company.
Mike Coupe, group commercial director of the supermarket chain, will succeed King as chief executive, the company said. John Rogers will continue his role as chief financial officer.
King said it was “not an easy decision” to leave the company. “It has been a privilege to have led the company for the past 10 years and I am incredibly proud of our achievements in that time. It is the 157,000 colleagues that make Sainsbury’s so special and I would like to thank them for their amazing efforts over the last decade in making Sainsbury’s great again. I am confident that under Mike’s leadership the business will go from strength to strength," he added.
Coupe commented: "It’s an absolute honour to be appointed as the new CEO of Sainsbury’s in this, the Company’s 145th year, and at a time when thanks to Justin’s leadership, we have been consistently outperforming the market. I very much look forward to building on that success for our customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders."
Under King’s leadership, Sainsbury’s has gained 10 million customers a week, £9.5 billion in incremental sales, and underlying profits have trebled, the company said.
In December, the supermarket recorded a strong sales performance despite earlier predictions that it would suffer its first decline for eight years.
Total sales for the third quarter were up 2.5% and like-for-like sales in the same period rose by 0.2% excluding fuel.
Chairman David Tyler said King is a “truly exceptional leader”, who has “reshaped” Sainsbury’s during his 10 years as CEO. “The Board thanks him for his outstanding achievements in ‘Making Sainsbury’s Great Again’. He leaves a lasting legacy, with the company stronger than ever.”