Former Cadbury corporate affairs director Alex Cole is to join Sainsbury’s.

Cole, who starts next month as director of corporate affairs, will oversee the retailer’s corporate responsibility and communications strategy. She replaces Mark Rigby, who will leave in the summer to “pursue other interests”.

During her 10 years at Cadbury, Cole led its move to Fairtrade, as well as handling communications during the takeover by Kraft in 2010. She was most recently at Freud where she was MD of the corporate practice.

“Sainsbury’s is a fantastic brand with a strong heritage and values and it continues to set the benchmark for corporate responsibility,” she said. “I am incredibly excited about joining and working with the team to ensure it continues to make a positive impact on the environment and society.”