Morrisons has kicked off a search for a brand director as chief executive Dalton Philips shakes up his management team to position the grocer for future growth.
Philips brought in Richard Hodgson from Waitrose as group commercial director in September, and as part of his role he is reviewing the grocer’s commercial strategy. This includes the strategy for the Morrisons brand, in particular its private label.
It is not clear if the brand director will report into Hodgson, but it is thought the grocer wants to make an appointment early in the new year.
A spokesman for Morrisons said: “As part of the review of the commercial strategy, we are looking at the strategy for the brand to ensure we are equipped for the future.”
Philips, who joined in March, is also searching for a strategy director to work alongside finance director Richard Pennycook, who plays a key part in setting the strategy for the business, and is understood to have widened his responsibilities.
Hodgson’s appointment meant that former commercial director Martyn Jones, a Morrisons veteran, moved to the newly created role of corporate services director.
The shake-up comes as Morrisons seeks to push into new areas to maintain growth. Philips said in September that the grocer would trial both convenience stores and online shopping next year.
Tesco gaining share for the first time since May, and Asda’s share stabilising for the first time this year. Sainsbury’s continued to be the strongest performer.
Bernstein analyst Christopher Hogbin said that Morrisons’ “significant slowdown” comes as the sales benefits enjoyed from the stores it bought from the Co-op last year come to an end.
Separately, Morrisons is considering suing Fifa over England’s failed World Cup bid. Philips has written to football’s governing body to demand back the £1m the supermarket spent sponsoring England’s bid. In the letter, Philips called the bid process “unfair” and demanded that the governing body hand over the equivalent sum to charity.