FILE PHOTO: An usher holds a baton to guide attendees towards the AGM of advertising agency WPP in London, Britain
INTERNATIONAL - WPP, the world’s biggest advertising company, has poached John Rogers, the boss of retailer Sainsbury’s Argos business, to be its new finance director, taking over from the outgoing Paul Richardson in early 2020.

Rogers had been seen by analysts as a contender to succeed Mike Coupe as Sainsbury’s CEO.

He has held a number of senior posts in the supermarket group over the years, including chief financial officer from 2010 until 2016. He has also worked in China, India, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

WPP is still in recovery mode after a string of profit warnings. Last month it appointed Keith Weed, the marketing head of Unilever, to its board.

Rogers will be paid an annual salary of 740,000 pounds. He will also be eligible for an annual bonus of up to 225% of salary, a long-term incentive award of 300% of salary plus other benefits.

He will also receive compensation for share-based and cash incentives that will be forfeited on his exit from Sainsbury’s.

“Joining WPP was an opportunity impossible to resist,” said Rogers.

Sainsbury’s said Rogers will leave the business on Oct. 31.

It said Argos’s retail and logistics teams will report into Simon Roberts, retail and operations director, and Argos’s commercial team will report into Paul Mills-Hicks, commercial director.

Roberts and Mills-Hicks are also seen as contenders for Coupe’s job. 

REUTERS