Non-executive calls time on board at struggling Morrisons

RICHARD GILLINGWATER has announced he is to stand down from the board of struggling grocer Morrisons after serving two years as a non-executive director.

The former investment banker told the board that following notice of his appointment as chairman elect of energy giant SSE he does not intend to seek re-election as a non-executive director of Morrisons.

In a statement, Mr Gillingwater said: “I have had a thoroughly rewarding few years on the board of Morrisons, notwithstanding the considerable recent upheaval in the supermarket industry.

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“However, my appointment as chairman of SSE Plc coupled with my other responsibilities will require a significant time commitment.

“I have therefore reluctantly advised Morrisons of my decision not to seek re-election.”

Mr Gillingwater joined the group as a non-executive director in March 2013. He is a member of the audit, nomination, remuneration and corporate compliance and responsibility committees.

He is also chairman of Henderson Group, deputy chairman of SSE and the senior independent director of Hiscox and Helical Bar.

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Andrew Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said: “I would like to thank Richard for his sound advice to Morrisons, and also for giving the company early notice of this decision.

“On behalf of Morrisons, I wish Richard the very best for the future.”

The Bradford-based group suffered plunging sales, profits and market share during the last three years as chief executive Dalton Philips tried to modernise the business. He paid the price with his job and is to be replaced by Tesco veteran David Potts.

The board faced heavy criticism from former long-standing director Roger Owen, who called for a clear-out.

Mr Higginson replaced Sir Ian Gibson as chairman at the start of the year. He has pledged to take Morrisons back to basics.