Morrisons appoints new chief executive

David Potts has been announced as Morrisons’ new chief executive.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Morrisons has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.

Former Tesco director David Potts will take up the position after working at the rival supermarket since the age of 16. Mr Potts rose through the Tesco ranks to become retail director in the UK and the chief executive of its Irish operations. He will take over at Morrisons from March 16th following the departure of Dalton Philips.

The current chief executive announced in January that he would be exiting the supermarket after a five-year tenure. Mr Potts faces a tough challenge to turn around Morrisons' fortunes which has been significantly underperforming in recent months. It has faced criticism for its slow uptake in convenience stores and its online presence.

However, the company is confident that Mr Potts can steer the company into the right direction.

Andrew Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said:  "I am delighted to welcome David as our new chief executive. David is the best retailer I have worked with in 25 years in the industry.

"Having worked alongside him for 15 years, I know he will bring to Morrisons a focus on the customer, a track record of delivery, flair, talent, and immense energy to his new role. He will lead our colleagues in the business from the front, and with distinction."

Struggling supermarkets

The traditional 'big four' supermarkets are facing increased pressure from discounters such as Aldi and Lidl. The German companies have been gaining market share and higher sales as consumers opt for low-cost, good quality products. While Morrisons has been criticised for failing to act quickly on online grocery shopping and convenience stores, others have also been falling behind.

Asda and Tesco have recently announced that they would be scaling back expansion plans with the latter stopping production of a number of new stores as well as closing underperforming outlets.

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