Sainsbury’s hires Abbey retail boss

Abbey National Retail marketing director Sara Weller is understood to be joining Sainsbury’s amid speculation that Kevin McCarten is to give up day-to-day responsibility for marketing, to take on a more strategic role.

Sources suggest McCarten will relinquish much of his UK marketing brief in the new year and take on new responsibilities for Sainsbury’s development overseas.

Sainsbury’s representatives will meet UK agencies in the new year to discuss the resulting changes in the marketing department.

Weller, who has been at Abbey National since 1996, refused to disclose details of a new role she is expected to take up in mid-January. However, she confirmed she is to join a listed company outside the financial services sector.

Weller has been replaced by retail change director Gary Hockey-Morley, who takes up his new post on January 1.

The move comes as Nick Adderley, Sainsbury’s senior manager for in-store marketing and promotions, takes on a new role as manager of the chain’s newly-formed Internet division.

It is understood Weller’s appointment will fill the gap left by Adderley and brand marketing director David McNair, who was axed in a reorganisation in April (MW April 22). The move would give McCarten the scope to take on a more senior trading role.

McCarten and Sainsbury’s chief executive Dino Adriano were both unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

Homebase, Sainsbury’s DIY chain, has appointed Tim James, head of beauty at chemist chain Superdrug, marketing director following the promotion of Kate Swann to managing director in July.

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