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Morrisons chief David Potts to step down after nine years

Morrisons has said David Potts is set to step down as boss of the supermarket chain after nine years.

Mr Potts will be replaced as chief executive officer by Rami Baitieh, the former chief of Carrefour France, from November.

Morrisons also revealed an increase in sales for the past quarter on Wednesday.

The change in leadership comes a year after US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice snapped up Morrisons for around £7 billion.

The retailer said Mr Baitieh will work closely with his predecessor to ensure a “smooth handover period”.

Mr Baitieh said: “Morrisons holds a special place for shoppers across the UK, and I am honoured to be joining the business to help build on the strong links the company has with its loyal customers and the communities where it operates.

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“As a manufacturer, wholesaler and seller of food, Morrisons is uniquely positioned to grow in the coming years while remaining deeply focused on customer satisfaction.”

Mr Potts said: “Serving as Morrisons chief executive for the last nine years has been the privilege of my working life.

“There have been so many highlights but the way all our colleagues rose to the immense challenge of the Covid pandemic, fed the nation and made sure no-one was left behind will stay with me forever.

“Rami is joining a very special company with talented and dedicated colleagues and a unique position in British grocery, food making and farming.

“The Q3 results today show that the business is once again on a steady growth path with plenty of opportunities ahead and I’m full of confidence about its future.”

On Wednesday, Morrisons revealed that total sales, excluding fuel, grew by 3.1% to £3.8 billion for the 13 weeks to July 30.

Meanwhile, group like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT, were up 2.9% as it saw growth continue to improve after efforts to invest in pricing and support cash-strapped customers.

Mr Potts added: “Our sharper prices and new loyalty scheme are resonating strongly with customers and I’m pleased to be reporting our fifth consecutive quarter of like-for-like sales improvement.

“We are shaping a broader and stronger Morrisons.

“Alongside the growth in our supermarkets, we have made further progress across the business with our wholesale, convenience and food manufacturing operations also showing consistent growth.”