Justin King to step down from Sainsbury’s and Mike Coupe appointed CEO from 9 July 2014

King: stepping down from Sainsbury's in July

King: stepping down from Sainsbury’s in July

Sainsbury’s has announced Justin King has decided to step down in July 2014 after 10 years as CEO, and that Mike Coupe, currently the group commercial director, will succeed him as CEO.

David Tyler, chairman said: “Justin is a truly exceptional leader, who has reshaped Sainsbury’s during his 10 years as CEO, as well as playing a leading role in the sector and wider business world. The board thanks him for his outstanding achievements in ‘Making Sainsbury’s Great Again’. He leaves a lasting legacy, with the company stronger than ever.

“We are delighted to appoint a CEO 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 last decade in making Sainsbury’s great again. I am confident that under Mike’s leadership the business will go from strength to strength.”

Coupe, CEO designate, said: “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.”

During King’s 10- year tenure, operating profit at Sainsbury’s has increased by 59% to £829m, with turnover up 67% to £24.1bn. Total store numbers have more than doubled – up 108% to 1, 213 with the Sainsbury’s Local convenience chain growing from 136 to 618 stores during the period (Source: IGD).


  2003/04 2013/14e % increase
Turnover * (£m)




Operating profit (£m)








Convenience stores




Total stores




* excluding VAT, from continuing operations
** 2012/13 figure provided, 2013/14 figure not yet released