Sainsbury’s loses marketing and brand chiefs

Sainsbury’s marketing plans have been thrown into disarray after it emerged that marketing director designate Mark Horgan is no longer joining and brand director Claire Harrison-Church is stepping down.

/n/h/r/sainsburys.jpg

Former 118 118 chief executive Horgan, who was due to join Sainsbury’s as its most senior marketer in January, has decided not to join for “personal reasons”, the supermarket says.

Harrison-Church, who leads Sainsbury’s brand communications strategy and was responsible for the launch of its “Live Well for Less” brand positioning in September, will leave in February “to pursue other opportunities” after three years at Sainsbury’s. It is not known if she has a job to go to.

The departures, which a spokesman insists are unrelated, leave the supermarket without senior brand and marketing chiefs at a time when competition among the big four supermarkets is intensifying.

Sainsbury’s is battling with Tesco, Asda and Morrisons for customers that are shopping around for bargains amid rising living costs. All have launched price-based marketing initiatives in the past four months.  

Group commercial director of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe will oversee the marketing team until a replacement is found. It is not yet known if Harrison-Church will be replaced.

The supermarket has been operating without a marketing director for 18 months since Gwyn Burr was promoted to the then new customer service and colleague director role last July.

Separately, Sainsbury’s corporate communications director Mark Rigby is also to leave. He will be replaced by Alex Cole, former MD of Freud Communications.

Has your retail strategy delivered above and beyond expectations? Enter the Marketing Week Engage Awards 2012. Click here for details.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here