Morrisons CEO David Potts and Finance Director Trevor Strain have made a public show of confidence in the faltering supermarket by buying up 373334 shares between them.
The dynamic investment, which cost Potts almost half a million pounds of his own money, comes despite recent poor performances by the ‘big four’ member. Morrisons recently shut 11 loss making supermarkets, in addition to the ten closed earlier this year, and offloaded almost its entire chain of unprofitable convenience stores. Another poignant misfortune came recently when credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded the rating for the business.
Morrisons is but one major supermarket that is struggling to maintain its profits and market share in the face of increasingly dangerous discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.
It may be that Potts has his eye on a long term turnaround for Morrisons. In February, Morrisons Chairman Andrew Higginson said: “David’s skills are complementary to those of our excellent CFO, Trevor Strain,” and called Potts “the best retailer I have worked with in 25 years in the industry.”
Since taking over as CEO in March Potts has axed 720 head office jobs, as well as 45 positions in the supermarket’s leadership team.
The execs have made a confident bet, but is it on the wrong horse?