Sir Kenneth Duncan “Ken” Morrison CBE, former Chairman and life President of Morrisons supermarket has died aged 85 following a short illness, his family said in a statement. He died peacefully at home in North Yorkshire, where he has been living after retiring from his office in 2008.
“Sir Ken was, of course, a unique figure in the history of grocery retailing in the UK,” the family said. For more than fifty years Sir Ken was “the driving force at the heart of Morrisons as it grew from two market stalls,” they said. “But to us he was a greatly committed and loving family man, as inspirational and central to us in our daily lives as he was in the business. His drive and ambition, quick intelligence and encyclopaedic knowledge were matched with a real curiosity in his fellow man.”
“He had a gentle humour and kindness about him and he could, and would, talk with genuine interest to anyone,” they added.
“Sir Ken was an inspirational retailer who led Morrisons for more than half a century… [he] will be greatly missed by many thousands of his current and former colleagues, a large number of whom became close personal friends over the years,” said the supermarket chain in a press statement.
Andrew Higginson, the current chairman of Morrisons, said: “Taking Morrisons from a small Bradford-based family business to a major UK grocery retailing chain is an outstanding achievement in the history of UK business.”