Sainsbury's has ended its five-month search for an investor
relations chief, taking on Lynda Ashton from the BT Group.
The supermarket chain lost its former head of IR David Boyd last
September when he left to take the same role at mmO2, the demerged and
rebranded wireless arm of BT (PRWeek, 14 September 2001).
Ashton joins on 4 February, reporting to group finance director Roger
The top IR role involves handling all communication with the City and
relations with analysts and the wider investment community.
Matthews said: 'There's a lot to do on the IR side because we are
running a major recovery programme in the UK, which requires a lot of
communications with the City and regular updates.'
Ashton, who will be supported by a team of two, was previously IR head
for BT's online directory Yell. Most recently she was head of strategy
implementation for subsidiary BT Affinitis.
Ashton, who was unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press, had
formerly been IR head at National Power.
Sainsbury's three-year recovery programme aims to modernise the group's
supply chain and stores and boost profits.
The chain beat rival Tesco in sales growth over the Christmas period for
the first time in six years.
Sainsbury's last week credited Jamie Oliver, the Naked Chef star who
appears in its ads, with boosting festive sales by 6.8 per cent.
It has signed up Oliver for four more years to appear in ads and advise
on product development.