Sainsbury has drafted in top logistics expert Lawrence Christensen in a bid to tackle the problems afflicting its new distribution centres.
Christensen, who was group operations director of Safeway before its acquisition by Morrisons, has joined Sainsbury’s operating board as supply chain director for a set term of 16 months. The company said he would focus on driving efficient operating performance through the supply chain, including its seven new distribution facilities. He will also help to recruit his long-term successor.
New distribution centres have failed to operate efficiently and in a profits warning in July Sainsbury said it would be keeping open an old centre due for closure while the problems were tackled.
Chief executive Justin King said: “I’m delighted we have secured someone of Lawrence’s calibre and experience. Having invested significantly in updating our supply chain infrastructure we need to focus on detailed operational issues to ensure our customers benefit.”
The company said supply chain director Martin White,who has been in charge of the implementation of the new centres, had decided to pursue his career outside the company. He moved to Sainsbury from Booker in 1998, having masterminded its Heartland central distribution project which is currently being pared back.