J Sainsbury has named City grandee Martin Scicluna as its next chairman, as the supermarket chain tries to steer through a £15bn merger with Asda.
The veteran of blue-chip boardrooms will replace David Tyler, who has been at the retailer for almost nine years. Sky News’ Mark Kleinman first reported about the appointment yesterday.
Mr Scicluna is currently the chairman of insurer RSA and property group Great Portland Estates. The news is expected to be welcomed by investors, some of whom have expressed scepticism about the proposed merger with Asda.
He will join the board as chairman-designate from 1 November and will work with Mr Tyler for the handover period before assuming the role of chairman in March 2019.
Image: A Sainsbury’s-Asda would create a retail behemoth with 2,800 stores across Britain
Mr Scicluna said: “I’m delighted to join Sainsbury’s, a company I have long admired for its clear customer focus and its strong values.
“Mike Coupe (chief executive of Sainsbury’s) and his management team have positioned the business for a successful future of delivering significant value for shareholders, customers and other stakeholders.”
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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an in-depth inquiry into the Sainsbury’s-Asda merger, which will create a retail behemoth with 2,800 stores across Britain.
News of the proposed deal, which was confirmed in late April, sent shockwaves through an industry already contending with the fallout from a string of restructurings which have triggered tens of thousands of job losses.