UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has appointed Stuart Mitchell as managing director from 1st February, reporting to Peter Davis, group chief executive.

The company said Sara Weller will become deputy managing director. Both Weller and Mitchell are group board directors of J Sainsbury.

Mitchell will be responsible for day-to-day management of the supermarket business and will lead the supermarket management team. Peter Davis will continue to chair the supermarket board. Directors responsible for trading, retail, supply chain, formats and finance will report to Mitchell.

Weller will report to Mitchell on Sainsbury’s Supermarkets matters and will have specific responsibility for marketing, on line, strategic planning and business development and human resources. At Group level, she will continue to be responsible to Peter Davis for Sainsbury’s Bank and continue to be involved in a number of strategic group initiatives. Imelda Walsh joins the supermarkets board as human resources director reporting to Weller.

John Adshead is stepping down from the supermarkets board but will remain on the group board as group HR and IT director until his retirement at the end of March 2004.