Mike Coupe

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Mike Coupe
Born
Michael Andrew Coupe

26 September 1960 (1960-09-26) (age 59)
NationalityBritish
EducationThe Weald School, Billingshurst
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham
OccupationBusinessman
Years active1983–present
TitleCEO of Sainsbury's
Term2014–present
PredecessorJustin King
Spouse(s)Jill Parkinson

Michael Andrew Coupe (born 26 September 1960), is a British businessman, the CEO of J Sainsbury plc, parent company of the supermarket chain Sainsbury's since July 2014.[1][2]

In January 2014, Sainsbury's then CEO Justin King announced Coupe as his successor, after revealing that he would be leaving the role in June 2014.[3]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Watford, Hertfordshire in 1960.[4] He grew up in West Sussex.[4] Coupe received a bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Birmingham in 1982.[4]

Career[edit]

Coupe held various roles in British retail food chains including Unilever, Tesco, Dales Discount, Asda and Iceland. He previously worked with, and at one point worked above Justin King at Asda.[citation needed] King went on to work above Coupe at Sainsbury's.

He holds various other directorial positions: non-executive director of Greene King since 2011, member of the supervisory board at GS1U since 2010, director of Insights2Communications since 2012, director of the Institute of Grocery Distributors and director of GlobalNetXChange.

Sainsbury's[edit]

Coupe joined Sainsbury's in 2004 as trading director, and in 2007 was appointed a main board director and in 2010 was promoted to group commercial director. Coupe has been credited with the chain's success in e-commerce and creating the company's 'Brand Match' campaign.

Personal life[edit]

He married Jill Parkinson in Richmond upon Thames in May 1990, and they have two daughters (born December 1992 and June 1995). In recent years he has lived in the Holgate area of York but he frequently moves between London and Yorkshire. He is a keen guitarist and also enjoys photography and cycling. [5]

Coupe became a life patron for GroceryAid in August 2015.[6] He was previously the fundraising president from 2012 to 2014.[7]

Controversies[edit]

In April 2018, Coupe engaged in an interview in relation to a forthcoming merger between Sainsbury's and Walmart owned UK subsidiary ASDA. After the first interview occurred, during the transition to the next, his microphone remained switched on and he began singing 'We're in the Money'.[8] This angered many who believed the merger would create a monopoly in the supermarket industry. It also caused controversy due to the management restructures within Sainsbury's stores at the time with many managers and supervisors facing redundancy. It was also reported that Coupe would make over six hundred thousand pounds from the merger thus reinforcing the beliefs of many that CEO pay is unfairly high in contrast to large numbers of workers below them that earn significantly lower wages. Coupe later released a statement apologising for his "unfortunate choice of song, from the musical 42nd Street", which he had seen the previous year. Sainsbury's issued a further statement: “We all know these songs stay in your head. To attach any wider meaning to this innocent, personal moment is preposterous.” [9] When the merger failed to get approvals, he accused the Competition and Markets Authority of having “fundamentally moved the goalposts . . . changed the shape of the ball and chosen a completely different playing field” in its analysis. With “a completely unpredictable set of competition rules, who would invest in this country?” he told BBC Radio 4. “This is just outrageous.”[10]


In 2019, he was criticised for cutting a £10 bonus that was provided to staff in lieu of a Christmas party[11] in a year where he took home £3.9 million total compensation.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zoe Wood; Sarah Butler. "Mike Coupe: Sainsbury's Mr Straight | Business". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Stocks – Bloomberg". Investing.businessweek.com. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  3. ^ James Davey (29 January 2014). "Sainsbury's CEO Justin King to step down in July". Reuters.
  4. ^ a b c "5 things you didn't know about new Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe". City A.M. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  5. ^ http://www.cityam.com/blog/1390998054/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-new-sainsburys-boss-mike-coupe
  6. ^ "Mike Coupe to become GroceryAid Life Patron | Grocery Aid". Grocery Aid. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ "GroceryAid announces Mike Coupe is to extend presidency". Talking Retail. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  8. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43959687
  9. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/30/sainsburys-mike-coupe-sings-were-in-the-money-itv-asda-merger
  10. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/4d918f14-6cc6-11e9-80c7-60ee53e6681d
  11. ^ Hayward, Stephen (19 October 2019). "Argos staff Christmas bonus cut by boss caught singing 'We're In The Money'". mirror. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
Business positions
Preceded by
Justin King
Chief Executive of Sainsbury's Supermarkets
July 2014
Succeeded by
Incumbent