He replaces Richard Lancaster, who last month was named as the new UK MD of discounter Netto from 2 January.
Attwood has worked at Sainsbury's since 1975, most recently as head of trading support, a position he held for four years.
He joined the retailer as a produce student at its store in Chingford, Essex before moving to its head offices in 1979 as a meat costing clerk for its meat department.
After holding a number of buying and management roles in fresh and frozen meat, poultry and bakery, Attwood moved in 1995 to a leadership role in produce, rising to the role of head of produce, a position he held for two years.
Following a year in retail as general manager for stock loss, he became head of trading support in 2002, where his responsibilities included projects, systems, ranging, regional teams and pricing.
In his new role, he will be responsible for defining and executing the strategy for range, price and promotions within Sainsbury's 325 convenience stores, including Sainsbury's Local, Bells and Jacksons.
"Convenience is already
a great business for Sainsbury's but there still remains an enormous opportunity," said Attwood. "I am really excited to be part of a dynamic team which is determined to make Sainsbury's Convenience world class."
Marie-Louise Snelling replaces Attwood as head of trading support. Snelling was most recently head of price and promotions for Sainsbury's and has also worked in both finance and trading for the retailer.
Lancaster left Sainsbury's last month after deciding not to move to its Holborn headquarters in London when it relocated the bulk of its convenience team from Hull.