Sainsburys shares slide on news of King exit

Sainsbury's shares slide on news of King exit

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King will leave the UK supermarket group this summer, with commercial director Mike Coupe taking the helm at the company.

King will stand down as chief executive at Sainsbury's annual general meeting on 9 July, the company said today (29 January). He will have led the UK retailer for ten years, during which time he has consistently delivered market-leading top-line growth. Under King, Sainsbury's has focused on the development of its own-label offering, expanding online and in convenience and tackling its price perception.

Sainsbury's chairman David Tyler said King has "reshaped Sainsbury's" through his "making Sainsbury's great again" strategy.

Coupe has long been tipped as King's likely successor. He joined Sainsbury's as trading director in 2004 from the then-owner of Iceland Food stores, Big Food Group. Prior to that he worked for both Asda and Tesco, where he served in a variety of senior management roles. He was appointed to his current role in July 2010

"No one knows Sainsbury's - or the industry - better than Mike. He has worked hand-in-hand with Justin over the past decade and has a proven track record of success making him the natural choice to take the company forward," Tyler added.

Shares in Sainsbury's dipped in early trade today, falling 2.1% by 9.30 GMT. 

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Sainsbury's announces Justin King to step down; Mike Coupe appointed CEO from 9 July 2014

Sainsbury's
Sainsbury's today announces that Justin King has decided to step down in July 2014 after 10 years as CEO, and that Mike Coupe, currently the Group Commercial Director, will succeed him as CEO.

David Tyler, Chairman said: "Justin is a truly exceptional leader, who has reshaped Sainsbury's during his 10 years as CEO, as well as playing a leading role in the sector and wider business world. 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.

"We are delighted to appoint a CEO of Mike's unique talent and experience as Justin's successor to lead the next chapter of Sainsbury's history. No one knows Sainsbury's - or the industry - better than Mike. He has worked hand-in-hand with Justin over the past decade and has a proven track record of success making him the natural choice to take the Company forward."

Justin King, CEO said: "This was not an easy decision for me to make, and in truth it will never feel like the right time to leave a company like Sainsbury's. 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."

Mike Coupe, CEO designate said: "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."

Original source: Sainsbury's