Daily Management Review

Morrison Sacked Five Management Executives– Casualty of Slumping Profits


New leader of the distressed supermarket steps to clear the decks of its executive management team.

Morrison’s Chief executive, Dalton Philips, left the company after continuously recording 5 years of declining profits. Former Tesco executive, David Potts was placed as the new CEO of Morrison. The UK retail market distress led to the latest casualty in the boardroom. The supermarket chain delivered repeatedly the worst performance post-Christmas among the top listed supermarkets in Britain. The new CEO, David Potts dismissed almost half of its senior management group in his attempt to save the plagued supermarket. The drastic stroke came in just a week after the leadership change.

Besides the CEO and the finance director, the company’s top 10 senior officials are also a part of the management board, out of which 5 are going to leave the company. The sacked senior executives include consumer marketing and digital director Nock Collard; property & strategy director Gordon Mowat; retail director Martyn Fletcher; convenience managing director Nigel Robertson and logistics director Neal Austin. These include officials brought by Dalton Philips.

Mr. Potts stated that he will be building a slimmer management board with the objective to simplify and increase the pace of business. The intimidating action taken by David Potts was his move to bring back Morrison in the race. At the time he took the leadership, the company recorded the lowest yearly profits and also warned that the company could cut down its dividend in future. The company also recorded write down of property in its accounts and would be more transparent in booking its revenue. With the launch of a new campaign to receive consumer as well as staff feedback, the CEO also announced that he will be working in a store in April. Further he bought more than £1million of the company’s shares.

Britain is considered to be highly competitive food market. Hence, it led to a price war amongst the four biggest supermarket chains including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. As a result of the fierce competition from its rivals, the company is struggling hard to regain back the lost momentum of its growth. With huge cut in its prices, Tesco has emerged as Britain’s largest retailer with its sales much ahead of its rivals. This strong growth of Tesco has been attained after a difficult year. The Company also have a new CEO, Dave Lewis and is trying to rebuild the company’s image after the expose of accounting scandal of Tesco that overstated the company’s profits by £264million.
Ross Eggleton and Miles Foster are said to continue in their positions of logistics and M convenience chain respectively. Meanwhile Andy Atkinson will take the position of interim marketing director and Clare Grainger as interim retail director. The company did not disclose the size of its managing board but the company cleared the doubts that departures were nor triggered by any scandals. The new CEO of Morrison has become one of the three former Tesco officials along with the new chairman Andrew Higginson and the finance executive Trevor Strain.

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