Posted on Wednesday 29 January 2014 by Ulster Business

Justin king in store 012

Retailer Sainsbury's has announced that Justin King has decided to step down after 10 years as CEO, and that Mike Coupe, currently its Group Commercial Director, will succeed him as CEO.

Since he took the role in 2004, Sainsbury's has seen its underlying profits almost treble to £756m, while sales have risen to £25.6bn from £16.1bn a decade ago. King will leave the company after its AGM in July.

The company's chairman, David Tyler, described King as a "truly exceptional leader, who has reshaped Sainsbury's during his 10 years as CEO" and said he left a lasting legacy at the company.

The chairman said Mike Coupe was the natural choice to take the company forward as "nobody knows Sainsbury's - or the industry" better than him.

King himself 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. I am confident that under Mike's leadership the business will go from strength to strength."

Coupe added: "It's an absolute honour to be appointed as the new CEO of Sainsbury's in this, the Company's 145th year, and at a time when thanks to Justin's leadership, we have been consistently outperforming the market. I very much look forward to building on that success for our customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders."



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