Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, life chairman of the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain and a Tory peer, has died aged 94.
Lord Sainsbury began working in the family business in 1950, initially taking on a role in the grocery department.
He became director of the grocer in 1958, then succeeded his father in 1967 as vice-president.
He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in 1992.
He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 1980 for his service to the food retail industry, made a Life Peer in 1989, and in 1992 was named one of 24 Knights of the garter.
Lord Sainsbury is also known for his philanthropic giving. He founded the Linbury Trust in the early 1970s with his wife Lady Anya Sainsbury CBE, formerly Anya Linden, ballerina of the Royal Ballet.
Linbury has given millions to charities around the world, supporting causes ranging from the arts to access to education for young people, homelessness and overseas humanitarian aid.
Lord Sainsbury and his two brothers Simon and Timothy paid for the £35million Sainsbury’s Wing at the National Gallery in the 1990s.
Martin Scicluna, Chairman of the FTSE 100 Group, said: “Under his leadership we modernized our stores, expanded our food ranges and floated Sainsbury’s on the London Stock Exchange in what was, at the time, the most largest initial public offering ever in the UK.
“In recent years, he has hosted Her Majesty The Queen to celebrate our company’s 150th anniversary. He will be sadly missed by the board and by all his friends and colleagues at Sainsbury’s. We send our condolences to Lord Sainsbury’s wife, Lady Sainsbury, and the rest of the Sainsbury family.
Simon Roberts, Managing Director, said: “Lord Sainsbury was a trader at heart and one of the great retailers of his time. He was ambitious for the business and led Sainsbury’s through a period of unprecedented growth; he was a truly inspiring man.
“Although he will be missed by many, his enormous contribution to Sainsbury’s and the values he held so dear and believed in will live on at the heart of our business.”