James Moore: Pennycook's price right

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Outlook A crowded field for the Morrison's job, then, and no wonder. Marc Bolland will be a hard act to follow, but much of the really tough work turning the business around has already been done. A new CEO will therefore take control of a business in rude health in a sector where there is still plenty of room for a nimble number four operator to grow and grab market share from rivals.

No surprise, then, that the financial bookies are having to update their odds every five minutes as new names are added to the list of possible contenders.

A nice position to be in, really, for chairman Sir Ian Gibson as he sits down with his headhunters to plot. For form's sake, they will no doubt conduct a "thorough" search that will include lengthy interviews with several of the names in the frame (and perhaps one or two who aren't).

But at the end of the day the decision should not be too hard. Finance director Richard Pennycook should take at least some of the credit for the improvement in Morrison's fortunes, he appears settled in the company's Bradford HQ and has the staff on his side.

The financial bookies have the price right in making him odds on favourite to be doing more than manning the tills in the new year.