Sainsbury’s has announced a shake-up of its management team that will see chief financial officer John Rogers take the helm at Home Retail Group.
Rogers will replace John Walden as chief executive of the Argos parent company upon completion of the takeover, which Sainsbury’s expects to go through in the third quarter of this year.
Rogers will remain a member of the Sainsbury’s board but will be based at Home Retail Group’s headquarters in Milton Keynes.
Sainsbury’s group finance director Ed Barker will take over from Rogers as chief financial officer.
Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe said Rogers’ experience in strategy, digital, online and property made him the “ideal candidate” to lead Home Retail Group.
The announcement coincided with Argos announcing its strongest sales growth performance in eight quarters today. The first quarter update for the 13 weeks to 28 May showed a 2.6% increase in sales, with a 0.1% like-for-like increase.
Earlier this week, Sainsbury’s announced a more modest first quarter performance - registering a 0.8% decline in like-for-like sales and total sales increase of 0.3%.
Commenting on the results, retail consultancy Retail Vision said the deal between the two businesses could have both positive and negative effects.
“The Argos acquisition could boost Sainsbury’s bottom line in the short term as well as improving the grocer’s internet offer and logistics capability,” said director John Ibbotson. “But the monumental task of integrating the two businesses could also prove a toxic distraction for Sainsbury’s from the core business of grocery retailing.”