Boss of Home Retail to checkout after sale

The head of Argos-owning Home Retail Group (HRG) is to step down after Sainsbury's completes the parent's takeover as part of a management shake-up across the two businesses.

HRG chief executive John Walden is leaving, Picture: contributed

HRG chief executive John Walden will leave the group once the supermarket giant seals the acquisition, currently expected in the third quarter of this year.

He will be replaced by Sainsbury’s chief financial officer John Rogers, who joined the group six years ago and whose current responsibilities include finance, group strategy, online and Edinburgh-based Sainsbury’s Bank.

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The supermarket group said Rogers’ new role will be to combine Sainsbury’s non-food business with Argos, and continue the shift towards online and digital sales that the catalogue showroom retailer launched four years ago.

Rogers’ finance role will be filled on an interim basis from the same date by Sainsbury’s finance director Ed Barker, who joined from fashion house Burberry in 2008. The Competition and Markets Authority said in May it was looking into whether the tie-up with Home Retail could result in a “substantial lessening of competition”. It will decide whether to launch an inquiry by 25 July.

Walden said he will leave Home Retail Group “to pursue new career opportunities once the acquisition completes”.

He joined HRG in 2012 as managing director, becoming chief executive two years later, in a bid to revive its fortunes after years of lacklustre sales.