Morrisons' veteran group retail director Mark Gunter will continue to play a key role in developing the retailer's convenience and online strategy until his retirement in June next year.

Gunter, who has been at the company since 1986, will step down from the board at Morrisons' agm when he will also be replaced as group retail director by stores director Mark Harrison. Gunter will continue with the retailer in an advisory role until he finally steps down a year later.

He told The Grocer that he would be kept busy with the retailer's moves into online and convenience, which CEO Dalton Philips is due to update on next month. "Its a very exciting time for Morrisons and there is still a lot to do,' Gunter said.

Although yet to make any firm plans for retirement, Gunter suggested he could be tempted into non-executive roles. "It would have to be something that really interested me," he said. "I've been offered positions in the past but always felt I should be concentrating on Morrisons."

Before beginning his grocery career, Gunter studied music and photography and as well as spending more time enjoying these pursuits he hinted that he would like to get involved in championing the arts.

"I am looking forward to the luxury of having more than two weeks off at any one time," he said.

This week, Morrisons open its 439th store when Gunter joined it had just 35.