Morrisons new chief shelves old exec team

Kasmira Jefford
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New Morrisons boss David Potts
MORRISONS new chief executive David Potts has wasted little time in overhauling the beleaguered supermarket chain as he turfed out five of its senior managers yesterday.

Potts, who only took the top job at the Bradford-based retailer last week, said he plans to simplify and speed up the business by building a “leaner senior management team”.

Group customer marketing and digital director Nick Collard, retail dir­ector Martyn Fletcher, property and strategy director Gordon Mowat, logistics director Neal Austin and convenience managing director Nigel Robertson have all been asked to leave.

Ross Eggleton and Miles Foster escaped the cull and will continue to lead logistics and the M local chain.

The management departures come after Potts launched a campaign last week to receive cust­om­er and staff feedback. He also announced he would work in a store in April and encouraged other head office staff to do the same. He sought to show his commitment to the chain by buying over £1m of Morrisons shares.

Morrisons has been hit hard by the fierce industry price war as all big four supermarkets battle it out to retain customers’ loyalty and fend off competition from the discounters.

Former Tesco finance director Andy Higginson replaced Sir Ian Gibson as chairman earlier this year, while Potts – also a Tesco veteran – replaced Dalton Philips, who was ousted after failing to stem hemorrhaging sales.

Potts faces a huge challenge ahead of him after the retailer reported its lowest annual profit in eight years just days before he joined.

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