Sir Ken, who has been chairman of Morrisons since 1956, will confirm his departure to shareholders at the supermarket group's annual general meeting later today.
In a statement released ahead of the agm, Sir Ken said: “I have today informed the board of my current intention to retire as chairman and a director of Morrisons by the end of the financial year in January 2008.”
He added: “The board has invited me to become a life president following my retirement.”
However, the retailer has missed its own deadline of announcing a successor to outgoing CEO Bob Stott.
Morrisons had said that it would announce a replacement for Stott at its agm, however, Sir Ken will instead tell shareholders that the search is approaching the final stage and a firm announcement will be made within the next two to three weeks.”
Meanwhile, Morrisons will also reveal at the agm that like-for-like sales for the 16 weeks to May 21 rose 3.7% excluding petrol.