Is John Rogers the next CEO of Sainsbury's?

The supermarket's finance boss is heading off to run Argos. Perfect training for the top job?

by Jack Torrance

Sainsbury’s takeover of Argos owner Home Retail Group hasn’t been approved by the competition regulator but it has already announced its new subsidiary will have a new boss. In a sign of how seriously it is taking the aquisition John Rogers, the grocer’s CFO, will take over from the outgoing John Walden when the deal completes – which is expected to happen in the next few months.

Having only taken over from Justin King at the start of 2014, current Sainsbury’s chief exec Mike Coupe probably won’t be popping off anytime soon – not least because he seems to be outperforming his competitors at Tesco and Morrisons. But this looks like a bit of succession planning.

The finance director’s seat is a common route to becoming CEO, and with good reason. An expert understanding of where the business is financially, not to mention a good head for figures, is a big asset for somebody who wants to get to the top. But the top job requires more than somebody who spends all their time engrossed in spreadsheets.

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