Lord Sainsbury’s of Preston Candover, life president of Sainsbury’s supermarket chain and his conservative counterpart, has died at the age of 94.
Lord Sainsbury’s began working for his family’s business in 1950, initially taking on a role in the grocery department.
He became a manager of a grocer in 1958, then took over the position of vice president in 1967 from his father.
He was appointed Chairman and CEO until his retirement in 1992.
He was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 1980 for services in the retail food industry, became a contender for life in 1989 and in 1992 was named one of the 24 Knights of the Garter.
Lord Sainsbury is also famous for his charitable donations. He founded the Linbury Trust in the early 1970s with his wife Mrs. Anya Sainsbury CBE, formerly Anya Linden, a ballerina at the Royal Ballet.
Linbury has given millions to charitable organizations around the world, supporting causes from the arts to education, youth access, homelessness and humanitarian aid abroad.
Lord Sainsbury’s and his two brothers Simon and Timothy paid for the £35 million Sainsbury’s Pavilion at the National Gallery in the 1990s.
Martin Scicluna, Group Chairman of the FTSE 100 Group, commented: “Under his guidance, we have modernized our stores, developed our food groups and launched Sainsbury’s stores on the London Stock Exchange in what was, at the time, the largest initial public offering in the UK.
“In recent years he has hosted a visit from Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our work. The Board of Directors and all his friends and colleagues at Sainsbury will miss him. We send our condolences to Lady Sainsbury, the wife of Lord Sainsbury, and the rest of the Sainsbury family.”
Simon Roberts, CEO, said: “Lord Sainsbury was a shopkeeper at heart and one of the great retailers of his day. He was ambitious for the company and led Sainsbury through an unprecedented period of growth; he was a truly inspiring man.
“While he will be missed by many, his significant contribution to Sainsbury and the values he so cared and believed in will remain alive at the heart of our business.”