Home Retail Group has announced that chief executive John Walden is to step down from his role of the Group, and Argos, upon completion of the proposed acquisition from Sainsbury’s, with the deal expected to be completed in the third quarter this year.

John, who joined the Group in February 2012 as managing director of Argos, was promoted to lead the Group in March 2014. Sainsbury’s have now confirmed that its current chief financial officer John Rogers will become the new chief executive of Home Retail Group upon the completion of the takeover.

John Walden commented: "I believe the acquisition of the Group by Sainsbury's is in the best interests of our customers, colleagues and shareholders. However this impending transaction, together with the recent sale of the Homebase business, presents the opportunity for me to reassess the next stage in my career. I have huge affection for both Argos and the Group, so it is with mixed emotions that I will be stepping down from my role to pursue new career opportunities once the acquisition completes.

"Working with my colleagues on this journey has been the highlight of my career. I would like to thank them for their commitment and support. I wish both Argos and Sainsbury's great success in realizing the exciting potential of the combined business."

John Coombe, chairman, added: "On behalf of the Group, I would like extend our thanks to John for what he has achieved over the last four years. John has been instrumental in providing the leadership and drive to achieve this outcome.  He will continue to provide that leadership through to the completion of the proposed transaction and we wish him well for the future."

John Rogers, chief financial officer of Sainsbury's, commented: "The combination of Sainsbury's and Argos is an exciting one for customers, colleagues and shareholders. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead and work with the talented teams at HRG and to develop the business further as one of the UK's leading retailers."