Sainsbury's appoints Ashton for IR

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

Matthews.



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.



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