Sainsbury’s is looking for a director of corporate communications as
part of a major overhaul of its PR and public affairs operation.
The retail giant is believed to be searching externally for someone of
the same rank as current director of corporate communications Chris
Lever - who will, however, remain with the company.
It is understood that under the new structure, Lever will take charge of
internal communications, with the new recruit managing public affairs,
consumer PR and corporate communications.
Staff for the unit are likely to be drawn both from Lever’s existing
group and from areas outside his remit, such as environmental
Lever, who is believed to be retaining his seniority, reports to
marketing director Kevin McCarten, who joined from Kingfisher on January
The move is believed to have been prompted by a wide-ranging review into
Sainsbury’s communications function, commissioned last summer by
McCarten’s predecessor Ivor Hunt (PR Week 4 August). Hunt is due to
retire on March 9.
Previous review spin-offs have included the establishment of a new in-
house PR division for Sainsbury’s Homebase and Texas DIY chains, under
former corporate issues senior manager Tim Johns, and the promotion of
consumer public relations head Diane Lamb to head the press office. Both
Johns’ and Lamb’s previous jobs are still vacant.
A Sainsbury’s spokesman declined to comment on, or confirm, the latest
communications department changes.