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Morrisons underscores ambitions with 4 appointments

Wm Morrison Supermarkets, Britain's fourth-biggest grocer, announced four senior appointments on Thursday, underscoring chief executive Dalton Philips's drive to boost its brand and expand into new areas.

Morrison, looking to boost sales of own-brand products and expand into convenience stores and online, said three of the positions were newly created.

Morrison has outpaced sales growth at larger rivals like Tesco and Asda for much of the past two years as it recovered from the botched acquisition of Safeway in 2004.

But it has slipped back recently, leading some analysts to call for it to step up the search for new growth avenues.

Morrison said Belinda Young was joining as Own-Brand Director from Canadian supermarket chain Sobey's, where she was chief marketing officer, while Nick Collard becomes Commercial Director, Ambient and Frozen, after being brands director at British health and beauty chain Boots.

Gordon Mowat joins from consultants McKinsey & Company as Strategy Director, while Richard Lancaster is being promoted to Marketing Director.

The appointments respresent "a big step forward in the strength of our operational and strategic capabilities and the pace at which we can execute," Philips said.

Source : Mark Potter - Reuters

06 January 2011
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