Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe to leave as supermarket cuts hundreds of jobs

The British grocery chain has expanded to include Argos, Nectar and Habitat under Coupe's CEO leadership

Sainsbury’s has announced its CEO is to retire, one day after the supermarket group unveiled plans to cut hundreds of jobs.

Mike Coupe has led Britain’s second largest supermarket for almost six years and has served the company for over a decade.

Under Coupe’s leadership, Sainsbury's rolled out an aggressive plan to compete with beauty retailers Boots and Superdrug, by launching department store-style layouts and introducing 1,500 new products.

He also oversaw a failed merger with rival ‘big four’ supermarket chain Asda.

In 2018, Coupe was caught singing ‘We’re in the money’ before a television interview about the deal, only to have his plans blocked by the Competition and Markets Authority one year later.

However, his completed acquisition deals include catalogue chain Argos in 2017 and furniture retailer Habitat in 2018.

"A very different business"

Coupe singing 'We're in the money'

Coup will continue in the top role until May 2020, when current Retail and Operations Director Simon Roberts will take over as CEO.

“Sainsbury’s is a very different business today to the one I took over in 2014,” said Coupe.

“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.

“Adding Argos and Nectar to the business improves our ability to make shopping increasingly convenient for customers and to reward them for their loyalty.”

On Tuesday 21 January in a letter to staff, Coupe said the company planned to cut hundreds of jobs to reduce costs as part of its integration with Argos.

The company’s leadership team is said to have already been reduced by 20% since the beginning of the financial year in March 2019.

Commenting on his promotion, Roberts added: “As we come together, I am feeling hugely energised by what we can do for our customers and our colleagues.

“I firmly believe in our ability to create value for our shareholders as we continue to evolve and adapt this great business for the future.”


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