Helen Buck

Helen Buck

Sainsbury’s business development director Helen Buck is leaving the company after 10 years to take up the position of chief operating officer at Palmer & Harvey.

Buck took on responsibility for extending Sainsbury’s offer beyond its core proposition in May last year, as well as leading Mobile by Sainsbury’s, Sainsbury’s Energy and Sainsbury’s Online.

“This has been a year of transformation for us, notably through the significant partnership with Costcutter Supermarkets Group, which has been a step change win for the business,” said P&H chairman and chief executive Chris Etherington.

“Helen comes with a wealth of experience in the retail sector, and her knowledge of customer buying behaviour and industry dynamics will be of enormous value as we continue to grow.”

She first joined Sainsbury’s as head of brand communications, before moving to the trading division as business unit director, grocery in 2009. On being promoted to convenience director in 2010, Buck was appointed to the operating board. She moved up to retail director in 2012.

Prior to Sainsbury’s, Buck had held senior positions at Marks and Spencer, Woolworths and Safeway.

“I would like to thank Helen for all her hard work since she joined the operating board back in 2010, and wish her every success in her new role,” said Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe.

Chief financial officer John Rogers will assume Buck’s business development responsibilities when she steps down from the board on 31 July.

In his expanded role, Rogers will have responsibility for group strategy, Sainsbury’s online, Mobile by Sainsbury’s, Sainsbury’s Energy, Netto and new business. This is in addition to his existing responsibilities of finance, property, procurement, operational efficiency and Sainsbury’s Bank.

“I am delighted to see John assume a wider role in the business,” said Sainsbury’s chairman David Tyler. “His contribution since joining the plc board in 2010 has been invaluable, and it is a natural progression to see John take on expanded operational responsibilities.

“Mike and John have formed a great partnership and, alongside our wider management team, we think we have the right people in place to drive the business forward over the coming years.”