Analysts have expressed concern that senior trading directors appointed as part of Sainsbury's head office shake-up, which could cause up to 250 job losses, lack commercial or trading experience.

New directors Helen Buck and Luke Jensen come from marketing and consultancy backgrounds.

"They seem quite strange appointments," said analyst Greg Lawless at Blue Oar Securities. "Sainsbury's has promoted people in its business and they're not commercial traders. It must have a lot of trust in these people."

Buck, the new business unit director for grocery, was appointed brand director of Sainsbury's in 2004, before which she was head of general merchandise marketing at Marks & Spencer. She has also held strategy and marketing positions at Woolworths, Safeway and management consultancy McKinsey.

Jensen, who becomes MD for non-food, joined Sainsbury's last March from strategy consultancy OC&C, where he was a partner and head of fmcg, consumer and retail practice.

Current business unit director Simon Twigger will head up fresh and chilled food. All three department heads will report to trading director Mike Coupe.

Fresh food director Karen Schenstrom is rumoured to be among the staff set to go as part of the restructure. Claire Harrison-Church will join from Boots next month to take up Buck's old position, while Andrew Mann is expected to join from rival Tesco as director of customer insight and loyalty.

"We are undergoing a restructure of the business to simplify central teams and align them for future growth," a Sainsbury's spokeswoman said.

Analysts, however, warned the restructure did not go far enough, with Sainsbury's £50m costs savings earmarked for this year tiny against Tesco's £550m savings.

"It's a step in the right direction for Sainsbury's, but I'm not sure 250 is enough," said Lawless.

"Morrisons runs its business with 1,500 staff in Bradford, compared with 3,500 in Holborn for Sainsbury's."