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August 15, 2005

Roger Burnley is new head of supply chain

Sainsbury's has announced that Roger Burnley will take over from Lawrence Christensen as Head of Supply Chain. Christensen was brought out of retirement by Justin King last September on a fixed term contract. Burnley is expected to manage Sainsbury's supply chain side by side with Christensen, until Christensen's contract expires.

Analysts commented in a MorningStar news snap:

"He was well regarded in the industry," said Numis analyst Steve Davies, adding: "It's obviously disappointing that he's moving on."

Investec analyst Ingrid Boon pointed out that Christensen had already stayed on longer than he originally intended. She said the long handover period should ensure there is minimum disruption.

Roger Burnley is 39 and is currently supply chain director at Matalan. He has previously worked at Kingfisher PLC's (KGF.LN) B&Q home improvement chain as well as Wal-Mart Inc's (WMT) Asda unit, the U.K.'s number-two supermarket.

"His experience at Matalan is particularly relevant as Roger was brought in to lead a complete overhaul of the supply chain systems and distribution infrastructure," said the Sainsbury spokeswoman.

"He's quite well respected," said Investec's Boon, "and I believe he was Sainsbury's first choice."

Armed as I am with incomplete information, I have to wonder if about the relevance of Burnley's Matalan experience. Matalan has always seemed to me to be the typical discounter - stocking whatever its Purchasing Department could buy cheap that month with no real consistency. Burnley's Asda experience may be more relevant.

The challenge for Sainsbury's is to get the right goods on the shelves with consistency. Good luck, Mr Burnley.

Posted by Adrian Trenholm on August 15, 2005 at 03:45 PM in Logistics, News | Permalink

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