Morrisons’ online MD set to leave the business

Morrisons has announced the departure of online MD Simon Thompson insisting it isn’t connected to recent sales woes.

Following recent sales woes, Morrisons has been dealt another blow with online MD Simon Thompson set to leave the supermarket chain.

Thompson, who previously held positions at Apple and joined Morrisons in 2011 to plan its long-delayed move into online retail, will leave the role at the end of January.

His role will be replaced in part by group customer, marketing and digital director Nick Collard, who will take control of the retailer’s home delivery service. Day-to-day responsibilities will be given to Matt Kelleher, trading director for non-food and operations. Online trading director Jamie Winter, meanwhile, will move over to become trading director for operations and services.

Following a 3.1% fall in like-for-like sales for the six weeks to 4 January, figures which made Morrisons the worst performing supermarket chain over the Christmas period, the retailer announced that CEO Dalton Philips will step down after its year-end results in March. Morrisons will also close up to 10 unprofitable stores putting over 400 jobs at risk.

Thompson’s departure, however, is not thought to be related to the plans. “Simon’s departure was a done deal way before Christmas,” a spokesman told Marketing Week, reiterating the online service’s 1.0% contribution to Christmas LFL sales. “After helping us set up a fantastic online service logistically, he is now moving on to something new and we wish him well.”

Morrisons’ online service – which finally launched in December 2013, many years after its big-four rivals – achieved an on-time delivery rate of 97.5% in the pre-Christmas week, and the spokesman said it is “on track to deliver even more positive results.”

The departure is further proof of the “current turbulence within the Morrisons board,” according to Bryan Roberts of Kantar Retail. However, he doesn’t believe it will create any serious repercussions.

“All the noise coming out of Morrisons when it comes to online is positive with good fulfillment and accuracy rates,” he says. “Post-launch, this could be a case of Simon realising that with the weird set-up of Ocado controlling some elements of the business, and the inevitable restrictions, there isn’t much left to achieve and his work is done.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here