Sainsbury's corporate affairs chief Louise Evans made redundant in comms restructure

Louise Evans will leave her role as corporate affairs director at Sainsbury's after the supermarket giant made the position redundant in a restructure of its comms and corporate affairs functions.

Evans joined Sainsbury's in 2015
Evans joined Sainsbury's in 2015

PRWeek has learned that structure will more or less revert to how it was under Trevor Datsun, who was interim corporate affairs director prior to Evans' arrival in 2015.

On arriving in the role, Evans, who reports to Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe, was given an expanded brief that included public affairs alongside corporate and financial comms, corporate responsibility, digital and consumer PR.

Reporting lines for the different functions will change after Evans goes on gardening leave on 29 July.

Anna Harland Martin, head of corporate responsibility & society - strategy & communications, will now report to Judith Batchelar, head of Sainsbury’s brand, rather than to Evans. The head of public affairs role – currently held on an interim basis by Damien Drumm following the departure of Michael Salter-Church in May – will also report to Batchelar after Evans’ departure.

The consumer PR function currently reports into Evans, but is set to report to Rebecca Reilly, head of corporate comms.

It is understood that the changes are part of an efficiency drive at Sainsbury's that has affected other parts of the business in recent months. Earlier this year, Sarah Warby departed as marketing director and her role was not replaced, leading to a restructure that included the transfer of the customer experience function to the retail team.

Evans, formerly global comms director at Dentsu Aegis Network, currently oversees a 45-strong team at Sainsbury's.

Speaking to PRWeek last year, Evans discussed how she spent her first year in the job streamlining the company's comms function to meet the challenges of investor unease, the Argos acquisition and the demands of modern customers.

This included reshaping the press office function with the appointment of David Nieberg as head of media relations, to oversee day-to-day media queries.

Coupe said: "Louise has been a collaborative, creative and results-driven leader, achieving a great deal in her time at Sainsbury’s. I would like to thank her for the considerable contribution she has made and I wish her every success for the future."

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