Morrisons has described its new marketing and operations director Nick Collard as having the right experience to drive growth through the development of new store formats and a greater focus on own label.

Speaking to The Grocer about the appointment following the departure of Richard Lancaster last week, a Morrisons spokesman said he had shone during his 15 months with the retailer as commercial director for ambient grocery and had helped Morrisons outperform the market.

“Nick is straight talking and easy to deal with,” he said. “He is also a very thoughtful, modern, outward-looking retailer.”

Collard joined Morrisons from Boots where he was responsible for own-brand developments including No 7. In his new role, reporting to group commercial director Richard Hodgson, Collard will oversee marketing and trade planning, store format, merchandising and space, pricing and promotions, customer service and shopper insight.

Former Netto MD Lancaster is understood to have lined up a position elsewhere. A source close to Morrisons said Lancaster, who was not on the executive board, was keen to find a role with greater responsibility.

The moves have prompted a wider shake-up of the retailer’s commercial team. Lisa Miao becomes commercial director, ambient and frozen, with responsibility for core grocery, beers, wines and spirits, impulse and frozen. Jamie Winter has been named commercial director, chilled.

All non-food business areas have been brought together under non-food commercial director Mike Snell. He will be responsible for home and leisure, Morrisons Far East office, petrol, dry cleaning and photo, household, health and beauty, pharmacy and concessions.