Morrisons former managing director John Dowd has died aged 58, shortly after standing down from the board due to ill health. The company announced on January 29 that he would be absent for a number of months while he had a series of operations. However, earlier this month it said he had not responded to treatment in the way first hoped and he tendered his resignation as a director of the company, although he remained an employee. Dowd started his career in the engineering industry and after five years at Associated Dairies he joined Morrisons as personnel director in 1972. He was appointed to the main board in 1983, became deputy managing director in 1990, and was promoted to managing director in 1997. During his tenure Morrisons continued an annual run of successive profit and turnover increases stretching back 35 years, and was the fastest growing company in the sector. A statement from Morrisons said: "John made a significant contribution to the company's development and success over the years, making many friends among his colleagues and in the industry. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him." {{NEWS }}