Morrisons names new chief executive - former Tesco Asia operations boss David Potts

Mr Potts will receive a salary of £850,000 a year

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The Independent Online

Morrisons has named its new chief executive – and the man in question actually started his career as a shelf stacker at rival Tesco.

David Potts will replace former boss Dalton Philips, who was sacked last month. Sir Ken Morrison told The Independent at the time that he believed Philips was a "really nice chap" but had not been up to the job.

The new appointment will see Potts working with former Tesco senior executive Andrew Higginson, who is now chairman of the Bradford-based grocer. He will find himself plunged into a fierce supermarket price war in which Morrisons has suffered a long period of declining sales and profitability.

The 57-year-old, who will start his new job on 16 March, has more than 40 years' experience in grocery retailing after beginning his career on the shop floor with Tesco in 1973.

The former boss of Tesco's Asia operation, he left the group in 2011 after losing out to Philip Clarke as successor to long-time boss Sir Terry Leahy.

He has since acted as a retail expert to several international advisory and private equity businesses.

 

Mr Higginson said: "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."

Mr Potts will receive a salary of £850,000 a year, which is the same as Mr Philips.

He said: "Customers and Morrisons are a great combination to serve. This is a great British business with real potential and it is an honour to have been selected."

The departure of Mr Philips after five years at the helm came despite recent signs of improved trading at the supermarket chain. His major initiatives included £1 billion in price cuts over three years and a new loyalty card scheme promising to match discounters Aldi and Lidl.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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