Morrisons has appointed former Tesco executive David Potts to replace Dalton Philips, who left a month ago, as its new chief executive.

Dvaid Potts

Potts had been widely tipped from the beginning of the recruitment process.

Potts is charged with revitalising the Morrisons business, which has suffered falling sales amid the rise of the discounters.

Morrisons said it conducted a “thorough selection process, both in the UK and overseas” before appointing Potts, who starts on March 16.

Potts, 57, has more than 40 years grocery experience. He began his career in 1973 at Tesco, climbing to retail director and chief executive of the Irish business, and later chief of Tesco’s Asian arm.

Since leaving Tesco in 2011 he has acted as a “retail expert” to several international advisory and private equity businesses, Morrisons said.

Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson said: “I am delighted to welcome David as our new CEO. David is the best retailer I have worked with in 25 years in the industry. Having worked alongside him for 15 years, I know he will bring to Morrisons a focus on the customer, a track record of delivery, flair, talent, and immense energy. He will lead our colleagues in the business from the front, and with distinction.

“David’s skills are complementary to those of our excellent CFO, Trevor Strain, and I believe we have the makings of a good team. I would like to thank Trevor for his support over the last few weeks.”

Potts said: “Customers and Morrisons are a great combination to serve. This is a great British business with real potential and it is an honour to have been selected.”