But out of the furore emerged a careful optimism. Sainsbury’s story was marked by a clean break, which provided a positive mandate for change. ‘The departure of [Sir Peter] Davis clears the air and allows the group to move forward,’ asserted Paul Smiddy at investment manager Baird (BBCi, 1 July).
Nobody underestimated the scale or duration of the turnaround that may be required, least of all Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King. ‘You would expect me to be confident, but I’m not dismissive of the size of the challenge. I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t think I could do it’ (Daily Telegraph, 2 July).
King’s determination to conduct a ‘root and branch review of the business’ (The Independent, 2 July), starting from a premise of ‘ruling nothing in and nothing out’ (Sunday Times, 4 July) will undoubtedly find support from the group’s newly appointed chairman Philip Hampton.
Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk