People on the move in the food and drink industry

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Minette Batters and David Potts annoucned plans to leave their respective roles at NFU and Morrisons
Minette Batters and David Potts annoucned plans to leave their respective roles at NFU and Morrisons

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NFU president Minette Batters and Morrisons chief executive David Potts have announced plans to leave their roles, covered here in this round-up of people on the move in the food and drink industry.

Minette Batters to step down as NFU president

Longstanding National Farmers Union president Minette Batters is to step down from the role in February next year after more 10 years with the organisation.

minette Batters
Minette Batters leaves the role of NFU president

Batters, the first female president for the union, announced her decision to step down in the October NFU Magazine in a move she described as a “tough decision”​.

“Ten years is a long time and I know I’ve given it my all but it’s time for someone else to take the lead,”​ she added. “But in the meantime, there’s a huge job to be done and I remain determined to deliver what’s needed for you, our members.”

Now in her third term as president, Batters has led the union through massive geopolitical shifts and a state of permacrises experienced worldwide, helping farmers and their partners navigate Brexit, COVID-19 and the current cost of living crisis.

Batters started as an NFU and moved to the role of County Chair. From here, she went on to serve as Regional Board Chair for the South West before serving as a member of the NFU Governance Board.

She served as NFU Deputy President for four years from 2014 to 2018, before being elected president in February 2018.

New head at Morrisons

David Potts 2
David Potts is to step down as Morrisons chief executive

Morrisons chief executive David Potts is stepping down after nine years in the role to make way for new head Rami Baitiéh, former chief executive of French supermarket giant Carrefour France.

Baitiéh will take up the role in November and will work closely with David Potts to ensure a smooth handover period.

Commenting on his departure from the supermarket, Potts said: “Serving as Morrisons Chief Executive for the last nine years has been the privilege of my working life. There have been so many highlights but the way all our colleagues rose to the immense challenge of the Covid pandemic, fed the nation and made sure no-one was left behind will stay with me forever.

​[Terry Leahy] 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.

“I will continue to be an investor, supporter, and advocate for Morrisons and look forward to watching its continued progress and development for many years to come.”

Boasting more than 40 years of experience within the food sector, Potts joined Tesco at the age of 16 and worked there for 39 years. He rose to become chief executive of its Ireland business, its UK retail stores business and then chief executive of Tesco Asia.

Potts was also on the Tesco board from 1998 until he left in 2011. Prior to his appointment as chief executive of Morrisons, he held several advisory positions with a number of private equity and consultancy firms and developed his own retail concept to sell general merchandise.

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