Sainsbury’s is to appoint a marketing director to report to newly promoted group commercial director Mike Coupe as part of the management reshuffle revealed this week.
Coupe will take on additional responsibility for marketing, as well as his existing responsibilities for trading, IT and online.
Darren Shapland (pictured), at present chief financial officer, will become group development director and focus on new business development, as well as convenience, Sainsbury’s Bank, property and group strategy.
The changes mean that responsibility for marketing moves from Gwyn Burr, customer director, to Coupe. Burr will become customer service and colleague director, continuing to look after the customer but taking on responsibility for HR, corporate communications and sponsorship schemes.
Chairman David Tyler said that Sainsbury’s had needed to “bring together the marketing and trading teams under one individual” to “ensure that the buying and promotional activity fits together”.
Burr takes over HR after Imelda Walsh stepped down to pursue other opportunities. One headhunter said: “Gwyn is a fantastic marketer so it is a shame to lose her but it makes sense to put trading and marketing under one person.”
Shapland’s promotion places him in pole position to succeed chief executive Justin King. Tyler said that, while King remains “as vigorous as ever” and “is not leaving any time soon”, there were “a range of people that could take over and Darren is gaining the experience to put him in a good position”.
He added: “The growth of the company demanded the shuffling of responsibilities at the top and having someone dedicated to the future development of the company puts us in a strong position.”
It is thought Shapland may examine international expansion, including in China.
John Rogers, now property director, will replace Shapland as finance boss and Helen Buck joins the operating board as convenience director. She replaces Dido Harding, who left last year to join TalkTalk as chief executive. The changes come into effect on July 19.