She will take responsibility for all the supermarket’s marketing including brand communications, non-food marketing, customer insights and loyalty, and oversee its 100-strong marketing department.
Warby, a former Unilever marketing graduate, will join Sainsbury’s on Monday (30 January) reporting to group commercial director Mike Coupe. She will sit on the retailer’s operating board making her one of the most senior executives in the company.
At Heineken, Warby was responsible for Foster’s, Strongbow and Kronenbourg and also spent time as innovation director at the drinks company.
Sainsbury’s has lost a number of senior marketers in recent weeks. Mark Horgan was to due take the marketing director role but announced he would not join the supermarket at the same time that Sainsbury’s brand director Claire Harrison-Church announced she was to leave.
She leaves in February after overseeing its brand direction for the past three years, including the launch of its Live Well for Less brand proposition in September. Her successor has not been named.
Rebecca Singleton, Sainsbury’s former head of non-food and fashion marketing, joined rival Morrisons as marketing director, while Jenny Bullis, former head of marketing operations and media left to join ITV.
Sainsbury’s reported strong trading over the Christmas period, with a 4.8% increase in like for like sales in the three months to 7 January.
The figures were in stark contrast with Tesco, which reported its weakest Christmas trading in two decades and has since admitted getting its marketing strategy in the final weeks of the year wrong.