Sainsbury’s HR director Imelda Walsh is to leave the grocer on July 16.

Walsh, who has been with Sainsbury’s for nine years, had decided to step down from her position.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “As our longest serving operating board member, Imelda has made a significant contribution to our business transformation and turnaround.  She has helped to set up J Sainsbury for future success attracting and maintaining great talent right across our business.  She has been a tremendous ambassador for not only Sainsbury’s but the UK retail business as a whole.”

The grocer said a successor would be announced in due course.