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Kenneth Morrison
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Kenneth Morrison

Life President and Former Chairman
of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc 
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc and Sheffield United Football Club

United Kingdom

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About Kenneth Morrison

Sir Kenneth Duncan Morrison is the former President and Chairman of Morrisons (Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc), one of the largest supermarket groups in the United Kingdom, with 375 stores. He was born on 20 October, 1931 to William Murdoch Morrison and Hilda Morrison in Bradford, West Yorkshire. He helped in the family provisions business while studying at the Bradford Grammar School. Morrison served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as a National Serviceman before joining the management of his family business.

Business Career of Sir Kenneth Morrison

Wm Morrison Supermarkets

Sir Kenneth was the Chairman and Managing Director of a small group of shops belonging to his father. He began the William Morrison chain in 1961, with its first ever supermarket. The company was floated in 1967 and he had been its Chairman since then. Aimed at the working classes, the chain of supermarkets continually expanded to become one of UK’s largest.

Morrison acquired the Safeway Stores in 2004 for 3.35 billion pounds. After this takeover, the performance of the company weakened and Morrison’s reputation deteriorated. However, the Morrisons supermarket group recovered its performance and announced profits in 2006. The execution of the ‘Optimisation Plan’ regained the profits of the company and the reputation of Kenneth Morrison. The company joined as a member of the FTSE 100 in 2001 and Sir Kenneth has been the longest serving Chairman of a top 100 public company in the United Kingdom. He stood down as the Chairman of the Morrison supermarket chain on 13 March, 2008. The company, under the leadership of Sir Kenneth, witnessed continuous sales and profit growth year after year. The Morrisons family stake in the business is worth approximately 1.51 billion pounds.

Sheffield United Football Club

Sir Kenneth Morrison bought the Sheffield United Football Club for approximately 150 million pounds from former owner McCabe. Since he owns more than 50% shares in the club, he is the major owner with only a lesser number of other partners. Morrison signed in new manager Rafa Benitez from Liverpool, just after Rafa was successful at the Domestic Title, the Carling Cup, and the FA Cup. In the limited time since Sheffield were admitted to the First Division for the first time in 2006, they have signed the likes of former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia and German defenders Patrick Muller and Ludovic Magnin.

Sir Kenneth Morrison - Accolades and Charity

Sir Kenneth had been featured regularly on the Sunday Times Rich List. He held the 16th place in the list during 2009, with a fortune of 1,610 million pounds. Morrison received the CBE Order of the British Empire in 1990 and was knighted in the 2000 New Year's honours list for services to the food retailing industry. He was presented with the Yorkshire Icon Award alongside a few other prominent personalities in 2008, the year in which the award was launched. Morrison has also agreed to take on the honorary role as the Yorkshire Agricultural Society President for 2010/2011. He is involved in charity through the Morrison Trust, established in Darlington in 1995.

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