Sainsbury‘s poaches Poundland CEO Kevin O’Byrne for chief finance role


The parent company of Sainsbury’s has appointed Kevin O‘Byrne as its new chief financial officer, poaching him from Poundland where he is currently chief executive.

O‘Byrne replaces John Rogers, who has moved on to become the chief executive of Sainbury‘s Argos in the wake of J Sainsbury‘s acquisition of Home Retail Group in September.

O‘Byrne will step down from his role as leader of Poundland to join the Big 4 retailer on January 9 and will also be a member of the J Sainsbury board and the business‘ operating board.

In August, South African retail giant Steinhoff reportedly offered O’Byrne £2.7 million in shares to stay on as Poundland chief executive after it acquired the discount retailer.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s acquisition of Argos parent company now complete

O‘Byrne had taken over from Jim McCarthy earlier this year, and some industry analysts suggested at the time of Steinhoff’s acquisition that O’Byrne may look for other opportunities.

He previously held executive roles at the Kingfisher group from 2008 to 2015, including chief executive of B&Q UK & Ireland and group finance director. 

Prior to that, O‘Byrne was group finance director of Dixons Retail.

He is also a non-executive director and chairman of the Audit Committee of Land Securities Group.

READ MORE: Steinhoff offers Poundland boss Kevin O‘Byrne £2.7 to stay on

J Sainsbury group chief executive Mike Coupe welcomed O‘Byrne to the company.

“We are two years into the delivery of our strategy and this is an important time as we integrate the Argos and Habitat businesses into the group,” he said.

“Kevin brings a wealth of retail and finance experience and a track record in growing businesses. I very much look forward to welcoming him to the team.”

Ed Barker will continue as interim chief financial officer until O‘Byrne joins the business and will continue to have a leading role in the business.

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