Sainsbury’s restructuring loosens family’s decision-making control

David Sainsbury is taking a further step back from the running of Sainsbury’s supermarket stores, with the creation of a new structure.

Sainsbury, whose family has a 40 per cent stake in the group, relinquished the role of chief executive in a management reshuffle in January, but remained chairman. Now the chain has formed the Supermarket Executive Committee, which will oversee strategic direction.

It removes the Sainsbury’s board from direct responsibility for supermarkets, and hands control to the committee, headed by Tom Vyner – chief executive until his retirement next year – and Dino Adriano, the deputy chief executive who will replace him. Marketing director Kevin McCarten also sits on the committee.

A number of Sainsbury’s management committees are either to be axed or merged under the new arrangements. One new group is the Store Format Committee, which will look at the balance of own-label to branded products.

Sainsbury’s is expected to halve its advertising spend this year – it reached 41m last year, but the 20m campaign focusing on customer service did little to improve the chain’s market share.

This year the budget is expected to be at previous levels of just over 20m. Observers believe Sainsbury’s is planning to launch a new advertising campaign in May to try win back customers from Tesco.

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