Greene King boss Rooney Anand is to join Morrisons’ board as non-executive director.
Britain’s fourth largest grocer has had a difficult year. Third-quarter results showed that the supermarket chain’s profits were continuing to dwindle and just recently it dropped from the FTSE 100 after almost 15 years.
Anand’s experience at Greene King makes him an ideal candidate to help Morrisons regain its footing. He is not only credited with making Greene King what it is today, a prime restaurant and hotel operator as well as a popular pub chain, but has recently been referred to as the ‘Spirit King’ after overseeing the £770m takeover of rival Spirit Pub Group.
“Rooney had the vision at the start of the credit crunch to reinvent Greene King as a branded food-based pub retailer,” said Morrisons Chairman Andrew Higginson. “He is a widely admired and successful Plc CEO. His experience in retail, in fast moving consumer goods and in turning around the fortunes of a major retail business, will all be put to good use at Morrisons.”
Annand himself said that he was enthusiastic and ready “to contribute to the company’s return to the forefront of the British supermarket industry.”
He will need to contribute quickly, as Morrisons continues to face pressure from the supermarket price war, fierce competition from discounters and the race to provide better online services.
This latest appointment marks the end of Higginson’s restructuring of Morrison’s board of directors. Shortly after joining, Higginson brought about the departure of 720 head office staff, as well as then Chief Executive Dalton Phillips.
“With the recent appointments of Irwin Lee, Belinda Richards, Paula Vennells and Neil Davidson, I am also pleased to say that Rooney’s appointment completes the process of renewing and rebuilding the board of Morrisons,” Higginson said.