Morrisons’ long-serving store chief David Lepley has resigned from the supermarket chain, as new boss Rami Baitiéh promises to “reinvigorate” the grocer.

Lepley has been at the retailer since 2016, having joined from rival Asda, and has spent the last four years as group retail director. It is unclear if Lepley’s role will be replaced, according to reporting by The Telegraph.

Marks & Spencer attempted to poach Lepley in 2019 but he decided to remain at Morrisons as its operations director.

Lepley’s departure from the retailer comes as boss Baitiéh has made a vow to “reinvigorate” Morrisons with a particular focus on implementing customer feedback into its strategic decisions.

Speaking publicly for the first time last week, Baitiéh said: “I must be direct. Since the pandemic, Morrisons has not been in peak form and our market share has slipped slowly but consistently. Our like-for-likes, although on an improving and encouraging trend now, have been behind the pack for a while and the switching data hasn’t been encouraging.

“We look at what is happening in stores. We look at what customers and colleagues are telling us. We are training really hard but to be the best you need to work at it.”

For the 52 weeks to ending October 29, 2023, Morrisons reported full-year EBITDA up 6.5% to £970m, with fourth-quarter profits up 8.5% to £306m.

Full-year total revenue excluding fuel was up 2.7% to £14.9bn, with full-year like-for-like sales excluding fuel up 1.8%. Fourth-quarter sales excluding fuel were up 3.3% – the retailer’s sixth consecutive quarter of growth.

Retail sales, including supermarkets, online and convenience, contributed 2.9% growth. Online grew 1.6% and convenience grew 9%, while wholesale contributed another 0.4%.

Last week, the grocer sold its 337 petrol forecourts in a £2.5bn deal to Motor Fuel Group, which is also owned by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.