Morrisons begins hunt for new CEO

Current chief exec David Potts has led the ‘Big Four’ grocer since 2015

The new owner of Morrisons, private equity firm Clayton Dublier & Rice (CD&R), has reportedly started its search for a new CEO after its current CEO David Potts indicated his intention to step down in about two years time.

According to the Sunday Times, CD&R has appointed advisers from international executive search firm Skill Capital who began their search at the end of last year.

The paper also said that CD&R hopes that by starting the search now it hopes to avoid the need for an interim. It also added that it is believed the leading internal candidate for the role is the current chief operating officer Trevor Strain.

Potts has led the ‘Big Four’ grocer since 2015 after starting his career as a store worker behind the Deli counter at Tesco. He spent 39 years at Morrison’s rival working his way through the ranks to head its Asian operations prior to his move to Morrisons.

The news comes after CD&R acquired Morrisons in a £7bn deal in October of last year following a prolonged auction process.

At the time Sir Terry Leahy, senior adviser to CD&R funds, said: “We are very pleased to have received the approval of shareholders and are excited at the opportunity that lies ahead. The particular heritage, culture and operating model of Morrisons are key features of the company and we will be very mindful of these during our tenure as owners.

“We very much look forward to working with the Morrisons team, not just to preserve the company’s many strengths – but to build on these, with innovation, capital and new technology – helping the business realise its full potential and delivering for all of its stakeholders.”

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