Sainsbury’s has announced that Judith Batchelar OBE is to step down from her role as director of corporate responsibility and sustainability (CR&S) and public affairs at the group.
Batchelar will remain with the business until November 2021 as an advisory, before departing from Sainsbury’s after 16 years at the firm.
The decision was revealed in an internal note by Mark Given, CMO at the supermarket chain, who said that Batchelar’s knowledge of the food supply chain is “unparalleled in the industry”.
He added: “As well as successfully running the Sainsbury’s Brand division Judith has been at the heart of all our work on sustainability and the environment for many years.
“She has been the embodiment of ‘passion for food’ in our business, has been our voice to government through the pandemic and Brexit and was instrumental in agreeing our first set of net zero commitments last year.”
In turn, Ruth Cranston, group head of CR&S, will lead the CR&S team from the end of May 2021.
Moreover, the public affairs department will now report to Rebecca Reilly, who has been promoted from her current role as group head of communications to director of corporate affairs.
Simon Roberts, chief executive at Sainsbury’s, said: “I would like to thank Judith for the major contribution she has made to our business and our brand over the last 16 years and I’m hugely grateful for her dedication and leadership of our corporate responsibility and sustainability programmes.
“Rebecca’s promotion is a huge vote of confidence in her leadership. Having our external communications, colleague communications and government engagement all under Rebecca will help us land one strategic narrative with these key audiences.”