Sainsbury's CEO Coupe to be replaced by Simon Roberts

Sainsbury’s has announced that Mike Coupe will step down from his role as CEO and will be replaced by Simon Roberts on 1 June.

After almost six years as CEO and 15 years at the company, Coupe has confirmed his intention to retire later this year – and Roberts, who is currently retail & operations director, will take on the top job.

Coupe will depart Sainsbury’s having overseen a period of significant change at the organisation, including the acquisition of general merchandise retailer Argos and loyalty scheme provider Nectar. During his tenure, the grocer has made significant developments to its online and digital functions – over 20% of its business was conducted online in the recent peak trading period.

The outgoing boss also led a failed £12 billion merger bid with supermarket rival, Asda – ruled out by the Competition and Market Authority, which claimed consumers would be worse off if the deal was completed.

Martin Scicluna, chairman of Sainsbury’s, called Coupe a “bold and ambitious” CEO, adding: “Investing heavily in convenience, online and our digital capability, selling Sainsbury's pharmacy business and acquiring Argos and Nectar have all been sound strategic moves.

“These set us up well as we come together to create one multi brand, multichannel business for our customers.”

Coupe added: “I feel very privileged to have spent almost six years running Sainsbury's, in a period that has been the most challenging and competitive of my 35 year career in retail.

“Sainsbury's is a very different business today to the one I took over in 2014. I have focused on setting the business up to deal with the strategic challenges of our industry.”

His replacement, Roberts, has been at Sainsbury’s since July 2017 and has spent more than 30 years in retail, including 15 years at Marks & Spencer and 13 years at Boots, where he became president for Boots UK.

Roberts’ base salary on appointment will be £875,000, with a pension benefit totalling 7.5% of salary, which is in line with the pension opportunity offered to the workforce generally.

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