Supermarket boss Justin King was hailed as the saviour of Sainsbury’s yesterday as he announced plans to step down as chief executive after 10 years.
Company chairman David Tyler said that when Mr King joined the firm, it was close to being “on its knees”. Profits have since trebled and the grocer recently posted its 36th consecutive quarter of growing sales, while it is now neck-and-neck in the battle with Asda to be Britain’s second biggest supermarket behind Tesco.
Mr King – who has waived the right to a £1.7m cash severance payment on departure – is to step down at the annual general meeting in July.
He brushed off as “speculation” long-standing rumours that he will be offered a role in charge of Formula One, though he could not resist a motoring metaphor when referring to his future career – insisting there was “plenty more in the tank”.
Shares were down 2% on the announcement.