Blog: Sir Ken Morrison takes his bow
Dean Best | 14 March 2008
Business and sentiment are not natural bedfellows.
However, Sir Ken Morrison’s departure after 55 years at Morrisons, the UK’s fourth-largest retailer, has shown that there is room for some emotion in what is a fiercely competitive business.
Sir Ken has built Morrisons from a stall in the northern English city of Bradford to a multi-billion pound national retailer and one that is now again beginning to flex its muscles in UK grocery.
The 76-year-old faced some criticism after Morrisons struggled to digest its 2004 acquisition of UK rival Safeway but the company has recovered and in recent months has gained ground on rivals including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s.
Morrisons chief executive Marc Bolland said Sir Ken is a “unique person” and praised his chairman’s role in building the business.
“The journey from a stall to a GBP13bn (US$26.3bn) company is a large step to make. Most people can make one or two steps but he managed the whole flight of stairs.”
For his part, Sir Ken said he planned to have “a little rest” in his first weeks of retirement. There is though little sign that he will take things completely easy.
“I’ve got a farm that struggles to make a living but it will be intriguing to see the other side of the fence,” Sir Ken said.
Even some of the more hard-nosed UK financial media broke into applause as Sir Ken left the podium. It’s unlikely his kind will be seen again.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
- Analysis: Post discusses rationale for Weetabix
- Interview: Sir Kensington's on sale to Unilever
- Who will buy Danone's Stonyfield business?
- Column: Why snacking is the new meal
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Unilever buys US condiments maker Sir Kensington's
- Ice cream helps Unilever sales, food flat
- Suntory to offload Australia, New Zealand foods
- Nestle organic growth slows but beats expectations
- Post: Weetabix "opens up M&A opportunities"