Supermarket giant Morrisons has appointed Belinda Richards to replace Philip Cox as chair of its audit committee from September 1.

Richards is currently the senior independent director of Grainger PLC, where she also chairs the audit and remuneration committees. She also serves as a non-executive director of Aviva UK Life and Pensions and serves on the Advisory Group of Audit Committee Chairmen at the Financial Reporting Council.

Morrisons said Richards has been drafted in because of her “extensive experience of challenging and complex restructurings, mergers and turnarounds.”

Her appointment comes days after Morrisons unveiled former Tesco executive Gary Mills as its new group retail director.  

Richards will replace Philip Cox, who is stepping down from the role after six and a half years as “a natural part of planned board succession”, Morrisons said.

The grocer added that Cox will continue as chairman of the audit committee through its interim results to “ensure a proper handover to Belinda in the months ahead.”

Morrisons chairman Andy Higginson said: “Belinda Richards brings an impressive knowledge of the UK retail sector and has worked in many turnaround situations. I am pleased to welcome her to the Morrisons board.

“I would also like to thank Phil for his contribution to the board over the last six and a half years. We will announce his successor as senior independent director in due course.”