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January 29, 2014

UK: Coupe to take helm as King exits Sainsbury’s

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.

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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