Executive Changes at Sainsbury

LONDON - U.K. grocer J Sainsbury underwent changes in its operating board today, naming trading head Stephen Nelson its new marketing director, according to a Reuters report.

Mike Coupe, a director at smaller rival Big Food Group and the managing director of its Iceland food store chain, will take over as the chain's new trading director.

Nelson joined the Sainsbury board last July from Diageo, for whom he worked in the United Kingdom and the United States. Coupe has worked with Sainsbury's larger rivals Tesco and Asda, Wal-Mart's U.K. unit.

Sainsbury, under new c.e.o. Justin King, is fighting a decrease in sales as well as in market share, having lost market leadership to Tesco in 1995 and falling behind Asda last year.

Last week Sainsbury announced a 2.9 percent drop in underlying annual pretax profit.
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