Sainsbury's to name M&S King as CEO

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The Independent Online

The supermarkets group J Sainsbury is expected to name Justin King, the head of Marks & Spencer's food business, as its new chief executive today when it publishes its interim results.

The beleagured supermarket chain, which was recently relegated to number three slot in the supermarket rankings by Wal-Mart's Asda, is also expected to reveal that its sales have stagnated over the past six months, despite being in the midst of a recovery programme.

Mr King, 47, has previously worked at Asda, PepsiCo and Mars. He is due to take up the post next March, when Sainsbury's current chief exeuctive Sir Peter Davis steps up to become chairman.

Although he has only been at M&S for just over a year, Mr King had been seen as future chief executive at the upmarket retailer. Since his arrival he has overseen the roll-out of M&S standalone "Simply Food" stores. The appointment at Sainsbury's is nevertheless likely to surprise many City observers, who had predicted Sir Peter's deputy Stuart Mitchell would succeed him.