Morrisons hires Carrefour France boss as new CEO

Morrisons has hired the former Carrefour France boss Rami Baitiéh as its new CEO, following the departure of David Potts.

Baitiéh will start in November and will work closely with Potts, who has been steering the company for nine years, to ensure a seamless transition.

Rami 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.

“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.”

“I look forward to building on David’s strong legacy of always putting shoppers first and thank him for his help in the transition.”

Sir Terry Leahy, senior advisor at Morrisons owner CD&R, added: “Rami is an exceptionally talented and highly capable leader with a strong track record of driving performance wherever he has been posted.

“Rami will bring energy, innovation, and dedication to expanding Morrisons loyalty programmes and digital reach, while ensuring that the company’s long legacy of quality, and mission to deliver value for shoppers is preserved.”

Leahy went on to thank Potts for his service.

“This is a bittersweet farewell for me because I have known and worked with David for decades, but I will be happy to see the start of his next adventure.”

“David skilfully led the renewal of the Morrisons brand as well as navigating several twists and turns during his tenure, including the Covid pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, but he leaves the company poised for growth”

David Potts played a pivotal role in Morrisons' acquisition and integration of McColl’s, which expanded its convenience business, and he recently oversaw the relaunch of the Morrisons More Card loyalty program.

Potts said his time as CEO of Morrisons had been “the privilege of my working life”.

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

“Terry and I have had several conversations about succession since the buyout in 2021. We had a clear understanding that I was prepared to devote several more years to Morrisons if that was required, but that if an outstanding successor was identified who could lead Morrisons for the long term, then I would step down.”

Potts said he planned to take a short break following his departure but would then “look for further ways to contribute to business and to the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic”.

Morrisons has revealed its third-quarter performance, reporting a 2.9% increase in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel and VAT. This growth occurred despite significant price increases in the market. Furthermore, the company's total sales, excluding fuel, saw a 3.1% rise, reaching £3.8 billion during the quarter ending on July 30th.

Potts said: “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. In my remaining time as CEO, I will be working hard to prepare for the handover, and I look forward to giving Rami all the assistance and advice that he needs during the transition.”

He said that Morrisons sharper prices and new loyalty scheme were resonating strongly with customers.

“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,” he added.