Morrisons has announced the appointment of Jeremy Townsend as a non-executive director with immediate effect.
Townsend will also be appointed to the audit, corporate compliance and responsibility, nomination and remuneration committees. He will be appointed as chair of the audit committee with effect from 10 September 2020.
Townsend currently holds the position of CFO of Rentokil, a role from which he is due to retire later this year.
He was previously group finance director of Mitchells and Butlers and prior to that held various senior finance positions at Sainsburys. Townsend started his career at Ernst and Young and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW).
He succeeds Belinda Richards, who has stepped down from the board of Morrisons in order to take up a new role as an independent non-executive director of Jupiter Fund Management.
Townsend said: “I am very much looking forward to joining Morrisons and contributing to the continued growth and success of this great British company.”
Andrew Higginson, chairman, said: “I would like to thank Belinda for her significant contribution to the board over the last five years, and to wish her well in her new role. I am delighted to welcome Jeremy to Morrisons. He brings extensive financial and industry experience and is ideally suited to chair the company’s audit committee.”
The news comes as, earlier this year, Morrisons revealed that trading in the first quarter of 2020 was “volatile” in light of the ongoing pandemic, despite seeing a “significant improvement” in recent weeks.
In the 14 weeks ended 10 May, group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, were up 5.7%, with 5.1% of sales from retail and 0.6% from wholesale trading.
Group like-for-like sales including fuel were down 3.9%, with fuel like-for-like sales down 39.3%, and down almost 70% since lockdown due to less vehicle usage.