The Irishman kicked off the job last week by introducing himself to key suppliers. But in a departure from the traditional cursory phone call, Philips is understood to have offered to visit suppliers rather than inviting them to HQ.
"I almost fell off my chair when I heard Philips was coming to see us," said the sales director of an fmcg group. "This doesn't happen in grocery retail. One is not normally visited. One is summoned."
A Morrisons spokeswoman confirmed Philips had spent his first day contacting key suppliers and was looking to visit a number of them. She said he had spent much of his time so far visiting stores.
It emerged this week that Philips has agreed a £6.1m pay deal with Morrisons. On top of a basic salary of £800,000 his bonus could run to £1.6m.
He has received £2.2m under a share incentive plan and is in line for a further £1.3m in compensation for awards he would have received from Loblaw. This will be topped up with a £200,000 pension supplement.