Mor­risons chief poaches Waitrose mar­ket­ing boss

Daily Mail - - City & Finance - By Lucy Farn­don

MOR­RISONS’ new boss is shak­ing up the board­room and bring­ing in his own man af­ter just two months at the helm.

Dal­ton Philips has poached Richard Hodg­son from Waitrose on an es­ti­mated £1mplus pay and bonus pack­age t o be group com­mer­cial di­rec­tor.

He will be in charge of trad­ing and will work with a broad re­mit as the Ir­ish­man’s right­hand man.

Hodg­son used to work un­der Al­lan Leighton and Archie Nor­man at Asda in the 1990s – the same duo who rec­om­mended Philips for the Mor­risons job – so there are no prizes for guess­ing how the two got to­gether.

And while Hodg­son was at Asda, Philips worked for Asda’s par­ent com­pany Wal-Mart in its in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion as well as later work­ing un­der Leighton at Cana­dian food group Loblaw.

Philips, who be­came chief ex­ec­u­tive at Mor­risons at the end of March, said Hodg­son’s ap­point­ment ‘un­der­lines Mor­risons’ abil­ity to at­tract the best tal­ent in re­tail to our team’.

Re­tail sources praised Hodg­son as a clever mar­ke­teer who has good com­mer­cial nous. Mark Price, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Waitrose, where Hodg­son has worked since 2006 said he has ‘done a great job’ and ‘ goes with our grat­i­tude’.

It is a re­turn to his York­shire roots for Hodg­son, who grew up in Leeds. He is likely to be on a base salary of at least £500,000 a year plus a bonus and shares.

While his ap­point­ment will pro­vide a boost to Philips, it may have ruf­fled a few feath­ers in­ter­nally.

The cur­rent trad­ing di­rec­tor, Mar­tyn Jones, who has been at Mor­risons for 20 years, is be­ing de­moted from the main board and moved into a new role as cor­po­rate ser­vices di­rec­tor.

He will fo­cus on im­prov­ing the su­per­mar­ket chain’s con­tacts in White­hall and reg­u­la­tory cir­cles as well as cor­po­rate re­spon­si­bil­ity and food safety.

But there is no deny­ing that it is a less im­por­tant role with­out a board­room po­si­tion. The changeover will take place in Septem­ber.

Some won­der whether Mor­risons’ long-serv­ing re­tail di­rec­tor, Mark Gunter, and its fi­nance di­rec­tor, Richard Pen­ny­cook, who was passed over for the chief ex­ec­u­tive’s job, will be stay­ing at the com­pany in the long-term.

Mor­risons s hares were un­changed at 262p.

Waitrose is pro­mot­ing Mark Wil­liamson to re­place Hodg­son as com­mer­cial di­rec­tor. He joined Waitrose in 2004 and has been work­ing as sup­ply chain di­rec­tor.

CV: Richard Hodg­son, 40. Ca­reer: Mar­ket­ing trainee at Dal­gety, man­ag­ing Pet Food. Joined Asda in 1996 as a buyer. Be­came mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, then trad­ing di­rec­tor. Moved to Waitrose in 2006. Best known for: Hir­ing foot­ball hero Wayne Rooney and his then f

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