Darren Blackhurst

Darren Blackhurst is set to leave after just three months

Morrisons interim chief customer & marketing officer Darren Blackhurst Morrisons has handed in his notice after just three months in the role – ending media speculation that the move would be made permanent..

Retail veteran Blackhurst rejoined Morrisons in March as cover for Rachel Eyre, who is on maternity leave. It had been reported that there were plans for Blackhurst’s move to be made permanent, but The Grocer understands that this was never the case and that Morrisons is looking forward to Eyre’s return either towards the end of the year or in early 2025.

Eyre is viewed as a rising star in grocery retail and has been at Morrisons since April 2021, having previously spent almost six years at Sainsbury’s.

Rachel Eyre

Rachel Eyre is set to return at the end of the year or in early 2025

Blackhurst is currently still in post as the full details of his exit are worked out. He was previously Morrisons commercial director from 2015 to 2019, after which he spent four years running the alcohol business of Australian supermarket giant Coles. Before his first spell at Morrisons, he held senior leadership roles at Asda and Matalan.

His departure comes at a crucial time for Morrisons as CEO Rami Baitiéh wrestles to turn around its performance.

Addressing suppliers at its annual trade briefing last week, Baitiéh and his leadership team revealed more of Morrisons’ plans for delivering profitable growth and winning back market share. These included a focus on its More loyalty scheme and its unique Market Street proposition.

“We are going to keep the DNA of Morrisons and yes we are going to continue to be the only supermarket with trained butchers, bakers and fishmongers in the stores,” he said.