Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe denies exit is over failed Asda merger

Sainsbury's Asda Mike Coupe
Sainsbury's proposed merger with Walmart-owned Big 4 grocer Asda fell through in April
// Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe says his exit is not because of the failed merger with Asda
// Coupe will remain in post until the end of May

Sainsbury’s outgoing chief executive of six years Mike Coupe has denied claims that his resignation is due to the collapsed £12 billion Asda merger.

Coupe announced his resignation last week and said he would remain in post until the end of May, after which he will be replaced by current retail and operations director Simon Roberts.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Coupe maintained that his resignation was planned and completely his “own decision”.


Sainsbury’s proposed merger with Walmart-owned Big 4 grocer Asda fell through in April last year after the CMA warned the deal could lead to higher prices for customers.

“If you looked at our AGM last year, 99.5 per cent of our shareholders voted for me to carry on what I’m doing. It’s absolutely my choice,” Coupe said.

“You see the amount of change that is going on in the world of retail, who knows what will happen in the next five to 10 years, but one way or another there will be a significant rationalisation of brands you have taken for granted for a generation.”

Earlier today, Sainsbury’s announced plans to invest £1 billion towards making its operations “net zero” by 2040 – a decade earlier than the UK’s legal goal.

It said it would take action to cut carbon emissions, food waste, plastic packaging, and water use, and increase recycling, wildlife and healthy and sustainable eating.

with PA Wires

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