News that Sir Ian Gibson is to replace Sir Ken Morrison as chairman of Morrisons has been welcomed.

Sir Ken is to step down as chairman "no later than 13 March 2008", having been with the company since 1952. Sir Ian, who joins initially as non executive deputy chairman, will take on the challenge of overseeing Morrisons' recovery under Marc Bolland.

The new deputy chairman, who joins on 1 September, is no stranger to grocery retail. He was deputy chairman of Asda between 1993 and 1999 during the Wal-Mart takeover. Then chairman Archie Norman said this week that Sir Ian, whose most recent executive role was president of Nissan Europe, was "outstanding", "very shrewd" and "very good with people".

Analysts described it as "a positive appointment". "He's got the right strategic know-how and been around the board room. It's also a great bonus that he's worked under Archie at Asda," said retail analyst Tom Gadsby at SG Securities.