Sainsbury’s has made a series of changes to its management team as incoming chief executive Mike Coupe seeks to ready the ship for his succession in July. 

The changes mark the first major strategic move by Coupe since he was appointed chief executive after Justin King revealed in January that he would be stepping down.

It follows the promotion of Jon Rudoe, digital and technology director, to the operating board, in a clear signal of Coupe’s intent that technology will play a key part in the grocer’s future growth. 

Under the new structure Roger Burnley, the current managing director of general merchandise, clothing and logistics has been named the retail and operations director. He will lead a team that combines the supermarkets, convenience and logistics teams.

Sainsbury’s retail director Helen Buck will become the business development director. Current business unit director Robbie Feather has been appointed as director of online and will report to Buck.

Paul Mills-Hicks, the business unit director for grocery has been promoted to the operating board as food commercial director. The supply chain, own brand, space and formats, and food teams will report to him. Sainsbury’s business unit director for clothing James Brown becomes director of non-food trading and will report directly to Coupe.

Dean Clegg, director of store development, becomes director of property and will report to chief financial officer John Rogers.

Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s Bank chief executive Peter Griffiths joins the operating board and will also report to Rogers.

Outgoing boss King said: “Mike Coupe and I are working closely to ensure a strong transition as we move towards my departure on 9th July.

“A key part of our success over the last ten years has been the strength of our leadership team at all levels of our business, and our focus on developing talent from within, ensuring we have a great blend of innovative thinking and experience. The changes we’re announcing today will strengthen an already strong leadership team, and allow us to achieve even greater success in the future.”

The rest of the operating board remains the same with Tim Fallowfield as company secretary and corporate services director, Angie Risley as HR director, marketing director Sarah Warby, chief financial officer John Rogers, and Rudoe.