Morrisons’ FD pays the price

Martin Ackroyd, the finance director of Morrisons, has stepped down following pressure over the integration of accounting systems between Safeways and the northern supermarket chain.

Link: Morrisons reports accounting problems

The news came this morning as Morrisons revealed group operating profits of £380.3m, down on expectations.

Morrisons had released profits warnings blaming the mismatch between the accounting systems at the two companies.

‘The considerable increase in the size of the group following the acquisition of Safeway, the added complexities associated with the acquisition, the need to standardise procedures, and the problems with the inherited Safeway accounting system have put considerable strain on the existing financial resource when related to an increasingly complex and competitive retailing environment,’ said a Morrisons statement.

‘This has had some impact on our ability to reliably forecast likely trends in profitability and to obtain a full understanding of the underlying trading balances with certain of our suppliers.’

Ackroyd will continue to oversee the finance function until a successor is appointed.

Morrisons also announced the appointment of Bob Stott as its chief executive. Marie Melnyk will continue as managing director.

Stott’s appointment ends Ken Morrison’s tenure as executive chairman and will go some way to assuage the corporate governance concerns of investors.

David Jones becomes non-executive deputy chairman and will chair the nominations, remuneration and audit committees.

Duncan Davidson, the other non-executive at Morrisons has stepped down with immediate effect.

The changes leave Morrisons with one independent non-executive on the board.

Related reading