Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King is to step down from the retailer this summer, after 10 years in the role.
The supermarket announced that King will leave in July, when group commercial director Mike Coupe will take over.
Chairman David Tyler said King had “reshaped” Sainsbury’s during his time.
“He leaves a lasting legacy, with the company stronger than ever,” he said.
Tyler added: “We are delighted to appoint a chief executive of Mike’s unique talent and experience as Justin’s successor to lead the next chapter of Sainsbury’s history. 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.”
King said: “This was not an easy decision for me to make, and in truth it will never feel like the right time to leave a company like Sainsbury’s. It has been a privilege to have led the company for the past 10 years and I am incredibly proud of our achievements in that time. It is the 157,000 colleagues that make Sainsbury’s so special and I would like to thank them for their amazing efforts over the past decade in making Sainsbury’s great again. I am confident that under Mike’s leadership the business will go from strength to strength.”
Clothing sales at Sainsbury have been continuing to grow in recent months. In November it reported that clothing sales were growing at around twice the rate of food sales during its first half as the supermarket chain reported a 7% increase in profits.
In the 28 weeks to September 28, total sales including VAT and fuel rose 4.4% to £13.95bn as like-for-like sales grew 1.4%. Underlying pre-tax profit increased 7% to £400m.