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Sainsbury's commercial director to depart in leadership shakeup

LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Sainsbury’s said on Wednesday its veteran commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks will leave the British supermarket group as part of a revamp of its leadership team by new Chief Executive Simon Roberts.

Roberts, who succeeded Mike Coupe in June, has created two new commercial posts, separating the food and non-food functions.

Rhian Bartlett has been promoted to food commercial director and Mike Luck promoted to general merchandise and clothing commercial director.

Bartlett, is currently the director of fresh food, and Luck is currently director of business development.

Both will join the operating board of Britain’s second largest supermarket group when they start their new roles on Thursday.

Mills-Hicks, who has been at Sainsbury’s 17 years, will step down from his executive role in January and support Roberts in an advisory role until June.

The management changes come ahead of the publication of Sainsbury’s first half results on Thursday and a strategy update from Roberts.

“Our new plan puts food first. This means delivering improved and consistent value, more product innovation and great service for our customers,” said Roberts.

“Our other brands – Argos, Habitat, Tu and Sainsbury’s Bank – must deliver for our customers and contribute positively in their own right and actively support our ambition in food.” (Reporting by James Davey, editing by Andy Bruce)