Sir Ken Morrison needs to read How to win friends and influence people.

Sir Ken Morrison needs to read How to win friends and influence people.

His intervention at last week’s Morrisons AGM may have prompted amusement and water-cooler conversations at the expense of chief executive Dalton Philips, but what good did it do the business?

Sir Ken’s muckspreader moment not only failed to move on the strategic debate, it defeated his own interests.

Morrisons’ share price had fallen by about 15% in the three months leading up to the AGM. That is no doubt galling for investors including Sir Ken and other family members.

But his comments only prompted the retailer’s share price to head further south on the day.

The ad hominem attack won’t help Morrisons get back on track. Whether Philips’ strategy will work is not yet clear but he seems to have the support of leading investors other than the founding family.

It’s quite right that there should be robust discussion of strategy but cheap shots at the AGM should not be part of that debate.

Sir Ken is undisputedly one of the retail greats but even he was not perfect. Remember the five profit warnings after the botched takeover of Safeway?