(Bloomberg) -- Morrisons Chief Executive Officer David Potts will step down from his role at the UK supermarket later this year and be replaced by Rami Baitieh, former CEO of Carrefour France.
The supermarket veteran who has run Morrisons for the past nine years has overseen a turbulent time as the supermarket was taken private and struggled to maintain market share during the UK’s cost-of-living crisis. Potts will now look for “further ways to contribute to business and the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
Baitieh will take up the role in November and will work with Potts for a handover period.
Morrisons has been one of the supermarkets hit hardest by soaring costs, losing its spot as the UK’s fourth-biggest grocer to discount rival Aldi last year. The grocer, which was bought in a highly-leveraged deal by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2021, has struggled to keep prices as low as some competitors.
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The supermarket chain, founded by William Morrison in 1899 as an egg-and-butter stall in Bradford, England, still makes about half of the fresh food it sells and has its own slaughterhouses and meat-processing operations. That means Morrisons is more exposed to higher food costs than rivals.
Group like for like sales rose nearly 3%, excluding fuel, in the third quarter. It’s the fifth quarter in a row that sales have improved, though they still lag many rivals in the UK grocery industry.
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