Former Morrisons chairman Sir Ken Morrison has launched a scathing public attack on the supermarket chain’s current boss, claiming Dalton Philips’ strategy was a load of bullshit.
In response to Morrisons’ £176m losses last year, Philips is investing £1bn in price cuts over three years and plans to open 200 discount stores. The chain has been very late to enter the online shopping market, and has only just launched its Internet service.
Philips told the shareholders that the recent performance, which also saw a 7.1% fall in sales, was “disappointing”.
But Sir Ken, who is the son of the founder of the business and left in 2008, appears less than impressed. He told Morrisons’ annual shareholders’ meeting: “The results were described by the chairman and chief executive as ‘disappointing’. I personally thought they were disastrous.
“When I left work and started working as a hobby, I chose to raise cattle. I have something like 1,000 bullocks and, having listened to your presentation, Dalton, you’ve got a lot more bullshit than me.”
Last year, Philips claimed that when he took over in 2010 the business had still been using basic pen-and-paper methods to check stock. Parts of the business had been 20 years behind rivals, he added, with cash still being counted manually in stores at close of business.
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