Morrisons has made a raft of changes to the management of its supermarkets as it increases the number of women in its leadership teams.

The grocer has made 15 new appointments to the regional management teams that oversee its 490 supermarkets across the UK, including increasing the number of women from one to eight.

Vicki Reay, who previously worked at grocery rival Aldi, has been drafted in as Morrisons’ new operations director for the Southeast. In doing so, Reay has become the retailer’s first ever female regional director.

The Bradford-based grocer has also poached John McAlpine from Tesco to take the role of operations director for the Northeast.

Reay and McAlpine will both report to group retail director Gary Mills, who also counts Tesco among his former employers.

Underneath the layer of directors, Morrisons has also rejuvenated its regional management teams. The number of women employed at this level has increased from one to seven, the grocer said.

It has also drafted in former Asda regional and strategy director David Lepley to join its stores leadership team.


Morrisons group people director Clare Grainger said the board, headed up by chief executive David Potts and chairman Andy Higginson, was “pleased” that its retail management team was “becoming more representative of our largely-female colleague and customer base.”

It comes five months after Kingfisher’s ground-breaking decision to make its top team majority female prompted calls for other retailers to tackle gender imbalance in senior positions.

The B&Q and Screwfix owner appointed the fourth woman to its seven-person executive board in September when former Morrisons director Emily Lawson joined as chief people officer.

Retailers are regarded as having more senior female representation compared with other FTSE100 companies, but many believe the industry could do more to reflect its high proportion of female customers.