Sainsbury’s kicks off search for new CEO

Sainsbury’s has reportedly begun a search for a replacement for CEO Mike Coupe as it looks to put its failed merger with Asda behind it.

A report in The Telegraph claims the wheels have been “set in motion” internally for a succession plan. Internal candidates are thought to include Argos boss John Rogers, retail and operations director Simon Roberts, and Paul Mills-Hicks, the food commercial director.

Coupe took over the CEO role in 2014 following the departure of Justin King. He has already made some big moves, including buying Argos. But his attempts to merge Sainsbury’s with Asda were thwarted by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Sainsbury’s, however, says Coupe has the full support of shareholders and the board, saying any talks are simply part of a “responsible businesses succession plans”.

“Every responsible business has potential succession plans for its CEO. This is nothing new,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson tells Reuters.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s kicks off search for Mike Coupe’s replacement

Broadcasters in talks over showing more ads on TV

Public service broadcasters including Channel 4 and ITV are in talks with the government over showing more ads on mainstream channels as they look to generate more revenue amid growing rivalry from online competitors.

The talks with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are discussing proposals to lift the cap of seven minutes of advertising per hour. Currently Ofcom rules allow public service broadcasters to air an average of seven minutes every hour, rising to eight minutes during prime-time TV. Other commercial channels can broadcast an average of nine minutes.

However, there is a need to balance increased revenue potential with the views of consumers, with opinion surveys showing viewers are already unhappy with the level of advertising on TV.

Both Channel 4 and ITV are looking to turn around ad sales performance as advertisers increasingly spend with Facebook and Google. In its most recent quarter, ITV saw a slide in ad revenue while at Channel 4 it was flat. Analysts estimate TV ad revenues were down 3.3% in the first half of this year to £2.4bn.

READ MORE: Give us a break . . . TV viewers face more ads

Amazon tests ‘top brand’ label for fashion sellers

Amazon is testing a ‘top brand’ label for products from companies including Under Armor, New Balance and Speedo in a move that could improve relations between the online retailer and big-name brands.

The label is basing the designation of the label on brands that are popular with customers, and companies cannot pay for it. Amazon already labels products ‘best sellers’ or ‘Amazon’s choice’, which take into account factors including availability, customer reviews and pricing and which can help to boost sales.

In a blog post, Marketplace Pulse CEO Juozas Kaciukenas said the label could act like verification badges on Instagram and Twitter, helping customers tell the difference between big brands and own-label, as well as helping identify counterfeits.

READ MORE: Amazon tests ‘top brand’ label

Airbnb sees 30% growth as it prepares to go public

Airbnb saw booking value increase by 31% in the first quarter to $9.4bn, a key measure as the company prepares to go public.

According to Reuters, 91 million nights were book on its platform in the quarter, leading to the uptick in booking value (which measures transaction dollars on the platform). Revenue in 2018 was also up 40% year on year, while it has around $3.5bn in cash.

Airbnb is thought to be readying an IPO for the first half of 2020. However, it will need to show a concrete plan for profitability after public listings from companies including Uber and Lyft fared poorly after launch.

READ MORE: Airbnb records 30% growth rate in first-quarter on booking strength: source

Three launches 5G home broadband

Three is launching a 5G home broadband service in parts of London as it looks to tempt customers away from wired broadband.

The mobile operator is promising “fibre-like speeds” without needing a technician to visit. It will cost £35 a month on a one-year contract, with Three sending the equipment for free via next day delivery (or £20) for same day.

Three also plans to launch its 5G mobile service in 25 UK cities by the end of 2019. It doesn’t plan to charge extra, unlike some rivals such as Vodafone.

READ MORE: Three UK rolls out 5G home internet access in London