Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, life president of supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and a Conservative peer, has died aged 94.
Lord Sainsbury started working in his family’s business in 1950, initially taking on a role in the grocery department.
He became a director of the grocer in 1958, then took over the role of deputy chairman in 1967 from his father.
He was appointed chairman and chief executive until his retirement in 1992.
He was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 1980 for services to the food retailing industry, made a life peer in 1989 and in 1992 was appointed as one of 24 Knights of the Garter.
Lord Sainsbury is also known for his philanthropic donations. 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 awarded millions to charitable organisations across the world, supporting causes from the arts to education access for young people, homelessness and overseas humanitarian aid.
Lord Sainsbury and his two brothers Simon and Timothy paid for the £35m Sainsbury wing at the National Gallery in the 1990s.
Martin Scicluna, chairman of the FTSE 100 group, commented: “Under his stewardship we modernised our stores, developed our food ranges and floated Sainsbury’s on the London Stock Exchange in what was, at the time, the UK’s largest-ever initial public offering.
“In recent years, he hosted a visit by Her Majesty the Queen to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our business. He will be greatly missed by the board and 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, chief executive, said: “Lord Sainsbury was a shopkeeper to his core and one of the great retailers of his time. He was ambitious for the company and led Sainsbury’s through an unprecedented period of growth; he was a truly inspirational man.
“While he will be missed by many, his huge contribution to Sainsbury’s and the values he cared about and believed in so much will remain alive at the heart of our business.”