Food manufacturing veteran joins Morrisons board

By Alice Foster

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons has appointed Neil Davidson to its board
Morrisons has appointed Neil Davidson to its board

Related tags Non-executive director Supermarket Food

Morrisons has appointed a food manufacturing veteran who may prove an “invaluable” hire, predict leading analysts.

Former Express Dairies and Arla Foods boss Neil Davidson will join the supermarket’s board as non-executive director from October 1.  

The appointment of Davidson, the former md of Northern Foods’s milk division, was welcomed by Shore Capital analysts Clive Black and Darren Shirley.

Neil Davidson brings considerable manufacturing experience to the board,” ​Black and Shirley said.

“Davidson has extensive experience of UK food manufacturing, including Produce Investments, where he is also a non-executive director, which we believe could be invaluable to Britain’s number two food producer.”

Other Morrisons board members

  • Ceo David Potts
  • Chairman Andrew Higginson
  • Cfo Trevor Strain
  • Philip Cox
  • Penny Hughes 
  • Irwin Lee
  • Johanna Waterous 
  • Belinda Richards

‘Seasoned executive’

The analysts said the “highly effective and seasoned executive”​ would complement another newly appointed non-executive director, former Procter & Gamble UK boss Irwin Lee.

Davidson will succeed Penny Hughes as chair of Morrisons’ corporate compliance and responsibility committee when she retires as non-executive director later this year.

Morrisons’ chairman Andrew Higginson said: “Neil Davidson brings a wealth of experience in the UK food manufacturing and retail sectors from his time as ceo of Express Dairies and Arla Foods and as a major supplier to Morrisons.

‘Dedication to board’

“I am pleased to welcome him to the Morrisons board. I would also like to thank Penny Hughes for her contribution and dedication to the board over the last six years.”

The appointment of Davidson comes after Morrisons ceo David Potts reaffirmed the retailer’s commitment to in-house food and drink manufacturing earlier this month.

Potts unveiled a six-point turnaround plan​ to revive the retailer’s flagging fortunes following a nearly 50% fall in profits before tax in the six months to August 2.

Davidson said: “I have always considered Morrisons to be a great business. I very much look forward to joining the board and to making a real contribution to the company’s revival.”

This month at Morrisons

  • Agreed to sell 140 convenience stores for about £25M
  • Published half-­year results showing 47% drop in profits before tax
  • Announced plans to shut 11 supermarkets, cutting 900 jobs

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