SIR Ken Morrison launched a powerful attack on the senior management of supermarket giant Morrisons today, branding its latest financial results “disastrous”.
Speaking at the grocer’s annual general meeting, Sir Ken said he warned the board in 2009 and 2012 that changes it was making, concentrating on non-core activities, would seriously damage the business and added that he was sorry to say he had been proved right.
He criticised chief executive Dalton Philips’ presentation to shareholders. Referring to the cattle he keeps on his farm and the dung they produce, he said Philips had more if it than his herd.
Dissecting the annual report, Sir Ken asked a number of questions about the business and how it was progressing. Chairman Sir Ian Gibson said he would reply to Sir Ken by letter.
The meeting was held following Sir Ian’s announcement to step down from his role earlier this morning.
The group said that Sir Ian Gibson will not be seeking re-election at next year’s AGM.
The news came after Morrisons’ former property director Roger Owen compared the Bradford-based grocer to “a supertanker heading towards an iceberg” and claimed Sir Ian must take the ultimate blame for the decline in fortunes, in an exclusive interview with the Yorkshire Post in April.
Sir Ian said: “This term will take me into my eighth year on Wm Morrisons Board, and this announcement gives the Board time to conduct an orderly search for a new chairman and ensure a smooth transition.”
Morrisons is attempting to fight back against the discounters by slashing prices permanently. Morrisons also recently entered the convenience and onine retail sectors years later than its competitors.