Morrisons has hired Asda’s former chief customer officer, Barry Williams, in a key role as the supermarket’s turnaround efforts continue. 

Barry Williams

Barry Williams

Barry Williams is joining Morrisons

Williams, who spent eight years at Asda before quitting in February, will join the Bradford-headquartered grocer next February as its trading director for ambient. 

He will replace Andy Pleasance in the role, who is moving on to work on “special projects” for Morrisons, a spokesman told Retail Week.

Williams will be responsible for Morrisons’ grocery, beers, wines and spirits, baby goods, household and health & beauty offers.

At Asda, Williams spent the majority of his years leading its food trading division. Sources suggest he left the Walmart-owned grocer as he wanted to return to a hands-on trading position.

Morrisons’ group commercial director Darren Blackhurst said: “Barry brings a wealth of trading experience and relationships with food suppliers as well as a strong understanding of our customers.

“His arrival is another step in shaping a Morrisons team that will listen to and work hard for customers.”

Williams added: “It’s an exciting time to join Morrisons because it has an offer that stands out in the market and a very clear direction.”

Morrisons boss David Potts is attempting to drive a turnaround of the business, but profits and sales fell in its last full year. Latest Kantar data revealed its market share has slipped year-on-year to 10.6%.