This week, after a lengthy and much-publicised search, the supermarket group finally confirmed that Marc Bolland, chief operating officer of Heineken, would succeed outgoing CEO Bob Stott in September. He will also take over the executive responsibilities of Sir Ken Morrison, chairman of Morrisons, including chairing the executive board.
Analysts questioned why the supermarket group had appointed someone with no retail experience. Clive Black, an analyst from Shore Capital, said: "A man with no retail experience is a concern to our minds. That said, Morrisons is a consumer company with a brand that needs to enhance its reputation and Bolland has considerable brand management experience."
Christopher Gower from Man Securities added: "The appointment of Bolland does not fill us with huge amounts of confidence given the need for retail skills at Morrisons as the company goes head-to-head with further pricing cuts from Asda and Tesco."
The analysts also questioned the role Sir Ken would take now that he had relinquished his executive role. Richard Ratner from Seymour Pierce said: "Sir Ken remains as chairman but it will be very interesting to see just how far his wings have been clipped."
Black added: "It remains to be seen whether Bolland will get the autonomy to develop plans that he, as opposed to the chairman, believes are right for the supermarket chain."
Despite this, they were not overly concerned that Bolland may not have much experience of the UK. Black added: "I'm not sure it is significant that he is Dutch, or any other nationality. Morrisons has gone beyond Yorkshire, and England, to find this bloke. He must have something."