Abbey chief quits to join Sainsbury

Abbey National’s marketing director, Sara Weller, has quit and is set to take a senior marketing role at beleaguered retailer Sainsbury’s.

Abbey National’s marketing director, Sara Weller, has quit and is

set to take a senior marketing role at beleaguered retailer

Sainsbury’s.



The supermarket chain has discussed recruiting a senior marketer to run

its supermarket operation, working with its new supermarket managing

director, David Bremner.



It is thought that Kevin McCarten, Sainsbury’s existing marketing

director, would move to a group marketing role, or another board

role.



A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman was unable to confirm or deny whether Weller

was joining the company. Weller said she could not comment.



McCarten has held the top marketing role at Sainsbury’s since joining

from Kingfisher four years ago.



Meanwhile, Weller’s departure has promoted a restructuring of senior

marketing roles at Abbey National.



Gary Hockey-Morley, Abbey’s retail change director, has been named as

Weller’s replacement. He will take control of the marketing department

from January.



Hockey-Morley will report directly to Andrew Pople, Abbey National’s

managing director.



Pople said: ’Gary’s retail experience will enable him to focus on our

brand-led strategy and build on the progress we have achieved.’



Hockey-Morley has been with Abbey since joining from Unilever in

1993.



He has worked in Abbey’s banking, credit marketing and

channel-development divisions.



Ambrose McGinn, the former Abbey marketing director and current

e-commerce director, will take on Hockey-Morley’s retail duties.



Weller was with Abbey for only three years but is considered to have

left the bank’s brand in good health. She was responsible for the bank’s

pounds 10m relaunch in 1997, which adopted its current ’Because life is

complicated enough’.



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