Sainsbury’s taps up Unilever’s Weed for advisory role

keith_weedSainsbury’s has drafted in industry heavyweight Keith Weed – the former Unilever chief marketing and communications officer – in a non-exec role as it continues its quest to put data and digital at the heart of its business.

Weed, who also holds a non-executive post at WPP, brings nearly 40 years’ experience working at Unilever which included time as a key supplier to Sainsbury’s when he ran the FMCG group’s UK home and personal care business in the early 2000s.

Sainsbury’s flagged up Weed’s “excellent understanding of digital and the ways that technology is transforming businesses”.

Weed will also be joined as a non-executive director on the Sainsbury’s board by Tanuj Kapilashrami, who is currently group head of HR at Standard Chartered Bank.

They will replace Matt Brittin and Jean Tomlin, whose departures were announced last year.

Sainsbury’s chairman Martin Scicluna said: “I am confident that they will both make a valuable contribution. Keith is an exceptionally capable marketing and digital leader who has championed new ways of integrating sustainability into business and building brands with purpose. He will play an important role as we focus on helping our customers to live well for less.

“Tanuj is a thoughtful and energetic HR leader who has significant international insights. She will be an excellent addition to the board as we continue to adapt our business and support our colleagues in a rapidly changing marketplace.”

Weed, who retired last year, has plenty on his plate, being president of the Advertising Association, president of the History of Advertising Trust, a board member of Business in the Community and a member of McLaren’s Formula One advisory board.

He commented: “I look forward to contributing to Sainsbury’s future, leveraging my experience and understanding of building businesses in a rapidly changing world – from customer focus and sustainability, to digital and data.”

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe is due to retire at the end of this month; retail and operations director Simon Roberts takes up the role on June 1.

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