Business

Sainsbury’s boss Mike Coupe to hand over after six years

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Sainsbury’s has introduced its leader govt Mike Coupe will retire from the grocery store crew.

Mr Coupe has led Sainsbury’s for just about six years, right through which era he oversaw a failed try to merge with rival grocery store Asda.

The pinnacle of Sainsbury’s retail and operations, Simon Roberts, will take over from Mr Coupe.

“This has been an excessively tough determination for me in my opinion,” Mr Coupe mentioned.

“There may be by no means a great time to transport on, however as we and the business proceed to conform, I consider now’s the proper time for me handy over to my successor.”

Mr Coupe’s departure comes after he mentioned remaining Might he could be “sticking to the corporate” when requested whether or not he were requested to step down after the failed merger.

“I am making plans to stick,” he mentioned on the time.

Mr Coupe will step down as leader govt on the finish of Might and retire from Sainsbury’s in July.

Process cuts

His go out was once introduced an afternoon after Sainsbury’s mentioned it was once slicing “loads” of control roles to cut back prices.

It mentioned the cuts have been in large part because of its integration of Argos, which it purchased in 2016, into the trade.

Mr Roberts, who’s because of take over on 1 June, has been keen on integrating Sainsbury’s and Argos. He was once additionally the previous president of store Boot UK.

In a commentary, Mr Coupe mentioned he was once “assured” his selected successor was once “the proper selection for our shoppers, our colleagues and our traders”.

Mr Coupe will proceed to gather his £962,000 a 12 months wage till he leaves. His successor will start the position with a smaller £875,000 pay cheque.

Questions on Mr Coupe’s long run at Sainsbury’s started circling in April remaining 12 months, after the United Kingdom festival regulator blocked its proposed £7.3bn tie up with Asda.

Prior to that – and head of a media interview to talk about the deal – Mr Coupe was once stuck on digicam making a song “We are within the cash”.

Media playback is unsupported for your instrument

Media captionMike Coupe stuck making a song on digicam

“This was once an unguarded second seeking to compose myself earlier than a TV interview,” he mentioned in a commentary on the time.

The grocery store’s proportion worth surged after the deal was once first introduced in 2018. However the worth of stocks has fallen through 22% prior to now 12 months.

On Wednesday, its proportion worth fell through 1.3% to 210p.


Mike Coupe took the reins at J Sainsbury at what must were an auspicious second.

A couple of months previous Philip Clarke were pressured out as leader govt of Tesco, and Sainsbury’s largest industrial rival was once in upheaval. No longer simplest had Mr Clarke’s chaotic reign left inside morale and income at a low ebb, however there was once a looming accounting scandal. All must were set honest for Mr Coupe, however the truth was once a lot harder.

There was once a brand new aggressive danger within the form of Aldi and Lidl, German-owned discounters that experience regularly taken marketplace proportion in the United Kingdom. Morrisons was once starting its revival, and as soon as Dave Lewis was once established at Tesco it briefly were given again into its stride. Sainsbury’s was once once more in a fiercely aggressive combat, squeezed through massive mainstream competitors and upstart competition.

Mr Coupe’s solution was once to check out to diversify the corporate’s resources of source of revenue, a plan that turned into actual with the a success acquire of Argos. He then idea he may upload scale via a merger with Asda. The time was once proper – Asda’s American proprietor, Walmart, was once desperate to promote, and the United Kingdom festival regulator had licensed Tesco’s acquire of the wholesaler Booker.

A deal would have created a series sufficiently big to frighten Tesco, however Mr Coupe misjudged the placement. The Festival and Markets Authority rejected the tie-up in brutal type, leaving many traders questioning how the board may ever have idea it could undergo.

From that second the clock was once ticking for Mr Coupe, and his departure isn’t a marvel. His successor, Simon Roberts, inherits the similar elementary downside – the way to make Sainsbury’s stand out within the crowded heart flooring of the United Kingdom grocery marketplace.


Mr Coupe’s go out didn’t come as a surprise to Maureen Hinton, a retail analyst at GlobalData.

She idea the timing were deliberate to permit for a duration of steadiness on the grocery store following the failed Asda deal.

“The reality that they have got were given a candidate to take over makes it appear a lot more find it irresistible’s been deliberate,” she informed the BBC.

She Sainsbury’s had almost definitely timed the announcement to offer shoppers, body of workers and traders a duration of “steadiness” after the failure of the Asda tie-up.

She anticipated Mr Roberts would attempt to make additional value cuts and draw in extra consumers, even supposing she mentioned some believed the grocery marketplace was once changing into saturated.

“There is simplest such a lot we will be able to devour,” she mentioned.

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