Justin King's goodbye letter to Sainsbury's staff

Golden handshake
Golden handshake

This note went to everyone at Sainsbury's earlier this morning about Justin King's decision to step down in July with Mike Coupe taking over as CEO.

The note was followed by a call from both Justin and Mike, made available to all stores, depots and store support centres. Justin and Mike also spoke to more than 2,000 staff later in the day.

Dear colleagues,

Mike has played a major part in our success and is the natural choice to lead you on the next phase of the journey.

As you know, we always want to make sure that you hear any important messages about our business from us first, rather than reading about it in the press or hearing about it on the news. That’s why at the same time as we are sending this note to you we are also making an external announcement which says that, after the most incredible ten years, I have decided that the time is right for me to leave and I am delighted to let you know that Mike Coupe will take over as CEO in the summer.

Our vision is to make Sainsbury’s a place where people love to work, and I hope you know that I have absolutely loved working alongside all of you since we embarked on our journey to make Sainsbury’s great again. We can all be very proud of everything that we have achieved as a team over the last decade.

In 2011 we set out our ambitious 2020 targets and we’ve made a fantastic start. We have continued to focus on what’s important to our customers, showing them they really can have value for their values. Mike has played a major part in our success and is the natural choice to lead you on the next phase of the journey. I am confident that together you will go on to deliver even greater things and I know you will join me in congratulating Mike on his appointment.

Thank you for all your support over the last ten years. I look forward to seeing as many of you as I can before I leave in July, not least at our Sport Relief miles in March.

Trade well,



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