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Mike Coupe to retire as Sainsbury’s CEO

Published:  22 January, 2020

Sainsbury's has announced its CEO Mike Coupe will retire from the supermarket group in May this year.

The news comes a day after Sainsbury’s announced it was to cut “hundreds” of management jobs and less than a year after its bid to merge with Asda was blocked.

With effect from 1 June, head of Sainsbury's retail and operations, Simon Roberts, will take over from Coupe.

Coupe, who has been at the helm of Sainsbury’s for almost six years having worked for the retailer for 15 years, said the decision to leave had been “very difficult for me personally”.

“There is never a good time to move on, but as we and the industry continue to evolve, I believe now is the right time for me to hand over to my successor. Martin (chair) and I both believe the business is well set up, with a strong management team and a clear plan for the future,” he said.

Running Sainsbury’s for the past almost six years had proven “the most challenging and competitive period of my 35 year career in retail”, he added.

“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. I am proud that almost 20% of our total sales now come from our online channels and that we are becoming one multi brand, multi channel business, able to continue to evolve and adapt with customers' ever changing needs.”

Sainsbury’s said the planned job cuts would enable it to better integrate Argos, which it bought in 2016.