POUNDLAND BOSS Kevin O’Byrne has been named as the next chief financial officer of J Sainsbury, replacing John Rogers who became head of Sainsbury’s Argos in September.
O’Byrne’s appointment will be viewed as a major coup for the supermarket group as it accelerates its transformation, and redesigns its larger outlets to mirror department stores. The retailer is set to take on the discounters by offering more services and non-food products as well as groceries, chief executive Mike Coupe said last month.
His CV reads like a dream ticket for any retailer. O’Byrne is the former CEO and group CFO of B&Q UK & Ireland, among other executive roles held at B&Q owner Kingfisher from 2008 to 2015. He was also group FD at Dixons Retail, and is a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Land Securities.
Sainsbury’s finalised its purchase of Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Habitat, during the previous quarter when the group posted better than expected results, despite reporting a decline in like-for-like sales by 1.1% and a 0.4% fall in total sales.
O’Byrne, who will join Sainsbury’s on 9 January, said: “Sainsbury’s is a strong business with a clear strategy and I am really excited about joining at this important point in Sainsbury’s journey.”
Ed Barker will continue as interim CFO until the New Year and maintain a leading role in the business, the company said.
Coupe added: “We are two years into the delivery of our strategy and this is an important time as we integrate the Argos and Habitat businesses into the group. Kevin brings a wealth of retail and finance experience and a track record in growing businesses.”