Ex-Tesco man is new Morrisons chief

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Published: Wednesday 25th February 2015 by The News Editor

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A supermarket boss who rose through the ranks of Tesco after starting his career as a shelf stacker is to take charge of rival chain Morrisons.

David Potts will be the “fresh pair of eyes” called for by the Bradford-based business when it ousted former chief executive Dalton Philips last month.

The appointment reunites Mr Potts with former Tesco senior executive Andrew Higginson, who is now chairman of the UK’s fourth largest grocer.

Mr Potts will be pitched 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 March 16, 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.

Published: Wednesday 25th February 2015 by The News Editor

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