Sainsbury's chief executive named Management Today's Most Admired Leader


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The Independent Online

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King is set to receive the Management Today's Most Admired Leader award, succeeding last year's winner Lord Heseltine as the UK's most respected business leader.

At a glittering awards ceremony set to take place tonight at Claridge’s, King will pick up the award which was won several times by his erstwhile archrival Sir Terry Leahy, former chief executive of Tesco. Last year the main prize went to WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell.

King captured 10.6 per cent of the Management Today readers’ vote pipping easyJet’s Carolyn McCall with 6 per cent.

Commenting on suggestions he might call it a day at at the grocers, King, 52, said: “Yes, I’m closer to the end than I am to the start of my career at Sainsbury’s, and I had my first conversation about succession five years back. That’s good practice. I’m realtively young with plenty left in the tank. If I woke up one day and wasn’t enjoying it I would stop. ”

The most admired company award goes to Diageo and John Lewis picks up the award for “continual excellence.”