Company Announcements

Directorate Change

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 2855R
Sainsbury(J) PLC
05 July 2022

J Sainsbury PLC Directorate Change


Kevin O'Byrne to retire from his role as Chief Financial Officer

Bláthnaid Bergin appointed Chief Financial Officer from March 2023


After six years as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Kevin O'Byrne has confirmed his intention to retire from Sainsbury's at the end of this financial year, in March 2023.


Following a thorough external and internal search to identify a successor, the Board is pleased to appoint Bláthnaid Bergin, Commercial and Retail Finance Director, as Kevin's successor. Bláthnaid will start as Chief Financial Officer and join the PLC board on 6th March 2023.


Kevin joined Sainsbury's in January 2017 and, as a member of the PLC and Operating Board, has played an instrumental role in developing and implementing our strategy, in particular increasing free cash flow generation, strengthening the balance sheet and reducing leverage.


Bláthnaid joined Sainsbury's in 2019 as Group Director of Finance before moving to Commercial and Retail Finance Director in 2021. Bláthnaid has a strong record of financial leadership and, over the last three years at Sainsbury's, has supported the development and delivery of our strategy. Prior to joining Sainsbury's, Bláthnaid was Chief Finance Operations Officer at Aviva. She was also Group Financial Controller for RSA Insurance as well as Joint Interim Group Chief Financial Officer for six months.  She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and spent most of her career at GE in various finance roles working across Europe, Asia and Australia. Bláthnaid is also a Non-Executive Director, Chair of the Audit Committee and Senior Independent Director for Artemis Alpha Investment Trust.


Martin Scicluna, Chairman, said:

"Kevin has made an impressive and sustained contribution both as CFO and as a Board Member to Sainsbury's performance. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank him for his continued contribution and, when the time comes, wish him well for the future.


"Bláthnaid' s appointment concludes an extensive CFO search process. I am delighted that our internal candidate was the strongest, with proven financial leadership.


"I look forward to welcoming Bláthnaid to the Board next year.  I am certain that she will contribute strongly to the continued delivery of our strategy."


Simon Roberts, Chief Executive Officer said:

"Kevin and I have worked closely since I joined the business in 2017. He has been a great business partner, making a strong contribution. On behalf of all of Sainsbury's colleagues I would like to thank him for all he has done.


"Bláthnaid is well embedded in our business and is a highly respected leader. I am also looking forward to continuing to working alongside her to deliver our strategy."


Kevin O'Byrne, Chief Financial Officer, said:

"It has been a real privilege to work with all my colleagues in Sainsbury's.  I am very pleased to be handing over to Bláthnaid who will bring great commercial drive to the role.  I shall continue to focus, with my team, on delivering our plan and driving momentum while managing a smooth transition over the next nine months."


Bláthnaid Bergin said:

"Kevin has been an excellent mentor over the last few years and I wish him well in the future.  I am looking forward to joining the Board and supporting Simon's vision in driving value for our customers and stakeholders."


There are no additional matters that would require disclosure under LR 9.6.13R (1).




Investor Relations:          James Collins     +44 (0) 20 7695 0080


Media:                                  Rebecca Reilly   +44 (0) 20 7695 7295





All remuneration arrangements for Kevin O'Byrne's departure are consistent with the Company's shareholder approved remuneration policy and the Company's incentive plan rules. 


Kevin O'Byrne will receive base salary, pension and benefits through to his retirement on 4th March 2023.  He will be considered for an annual bonus for 2022/23 based on financial and strategic objectives.  Any award will be 50% in cash and 50% in shares subject to a two-year deferral period. 


In light of his contribution to the business and his planned retirement, Kevin will be treated as a good leaver for all of his outstanding deferred bonus shares and LTIP share awards.  These will be released on the scheduled vesting dates and, in respect of the LTIP grants, to the extent performance conditions are met and after pro-rating for the portion of the performance period worked.  Post vesting holding periods, where relevant, and malus and clawback terms apply. A post-employment shareholding requirement of 200% of salary applies for two years after departure.


Other than as detailed above, Kevin will not receive any other compensation or payment related to the termination of his employment.


Bláthnaid Bergin's remuneration will be in line with the shareholder approved remuneration policy.  Further detail will be disclosed on her appointment to the Board in March 2023.





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