Sainsbury’s has announced today (9 May) that its group development director Darren Shapland will step down from the role to pursue “personal interests”.

Most of Shapland’s responsibilities, excluding convenience, Sainsbury’s bank and property, will be taken over by Luke Jensen, who is managing director of the retailer’s non-food arm.

Chief executive Justin King will assume direct responsibility for Sainsbury’s convenience business, while CFO John Rogers will takeover responsibility for the retailer’s property portfolio.

The company said that Shapland will remain with the retailer as non-executive chairman of Sainsbury’s Bank.

Shapland has been the driving force behind a number of the retailer’s key initiatives, including its banking unit, convenience expansion and its nascent plans to enter a number of emerging markets, including China and India.

“It has been a real pleasure to work within a successful team at Sainsbury’s, helping my colleagues implement the turnaround of the company and the move from recovery to growth,” said Shapland.

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“The business is in great shape and this feels an appropriate time to move on so that I can pursue a number of my personal interests. I am pleased to continue to be involved with the company in my ongoing role at Sainsbury’s Bank.”