Supermarket Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King has denied suggestion s that he is to leave the retailer amid rumours that the business is seeking a successor.
King has been with the retailer since 2004 when he was poached from high street retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) and it has been suggested that he may return to M&S to take the helm during a period of considerable uncertainty for the retailer.
Sainsbury’s Commercial Director Mike Coup is the favourite to replace King, though outgoing WHSmith chief Kate Swann is also a possible successor while Tesco’s UK Managing Director Chris Bush is also speculated to take the helm.
However, speaking to Sky News, King claimed that discussions over his future were unnecessary at this stage and quashed rumours that he may be set for a move to lead Formula One.
“I am not aware there is a vacancy”, he said of Bernie Ecclestone’s role, adding: “I am not planning on going anywhere.
“I see myself staying at Sainsbury’s.”
Sainsbury’s, which is the third largest supermarket in the UK in terms of market share and is one of few grocers not to be implicated in the horsemeat scandal, is set to announce its full-year results on May 8th 2013.
Commenting on the speculation, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “This is pure speculation. Justin has made his commitment to the business clear and is excited about the opportunities to grow and develop it.
“Any discussion of succession is totally premature.”