Chief Executive Of Home Retail Group To Step Down And Be Replaced By Sainsbury’s CFO

The Home Retail Group announced today that John Walden will step down as its Chief Executive upon completion of the proposed acquisition by Sainsbury’s. In a separate statement, Sainsbury’s said that it intends to promote its Chief Financial Officer John Rogers to replace Walden.

The deal is currently expected to complete in the third quarter of this year, subject to shareholder approvals and clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Walden joined the group in February 2012, initially as Managing Director of Argos. He was subsequently promoted to Chief Executive of the Group in March 2014. He said today: “I believe the acquisition of the Group by Sainsbury’s is in the best interests of our customers, colleagues and shareholders. However, this impending transaction, together with the recent sale of the Homebase business, presents the opportunity for me to reassess the next stage in my career. I have huge affection for both Argos and the Group, so it is with mixed emotions that I will be stepping down from my role to pursue new career opportunities once the acquisition completes.”

Sainsbury’s said that following completion of the deal, Rogers will have responsibility for combining Sainsbury’s non-food business with Argos, and for the delivery of the ongoing digital transformation and performance of HRG. He will remain a member of the Sainsbury’s Group Operating Board and the J Sainsbury plc Board.

Rogers has been Chief Financial Officer of Sainsbury’s since 2010 and currently has responsibility for finance, group strategy, Sainsbury’s online, business development, procurement, property and Sainsbury’s Bank.

Ed Barker, Sainsbury’s Group Finance Director, will be appointed Chief Financial Officer of Sainsbury on an interim basis from the same date.

Mike Coupe, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “I am delighted to appoint John as Chief Executive of HRG upon completion of our proposed acquisition of the business. John is a highly talented member of the team and has played a major role in delivering our performance and strategy at Sainsbury’s. John’s expertise goes beyond his finance role; his leadership expertise in strategy, digital, online and property make John the ideal candidate to lead HRG and ensure we deliver our ambition to be the leading multi-channel, multi-product retailer of choice for customers.”

NAM Implications:
  • Expect a slightly higher profile for finance-based proposals?