Andrew Higginson will step in as deputy chairman in OctoberReuters

Struggling supermarket chain Morrisons has appointed one of its major rivals' former finance director as chairman as it looks to turn around its flagging retail activity.

Andrew Higginson, who served as Chief Financial Officer for Tesco for 11 years and as a Senior Independent Director for BSkyB, will join the board on October 1.

Higginson, the chairman of Poundland, will take over from current chair Sir Ian Gibson, who announced his intention to step down in June at next year's AGM following seven years at the helm amid months of poor trading and increasing pressure.

"Andy Higginson has a tremendous reputation and a distinguished career at the forefront of retailing in the UK and I am sure he will be a huge asset to Morrisons," said Gibson.

He will initially serve as deputy to Sir Ian before stepping into his boots when he officially leaves
in 2015.

Higginson said: "I am delighted to be joining the Board of Morrisons. Whilst there are undoubted challenges in the industry at the moment, this is a fine business and I am looking forward to working with the great team at Morrisons who work hard every day to serve customers."

Higginson certainly has a few challenges ahead of him as the mid-market chain continues to lose its market share – which dropped by 3.8% according Kantar's latest evaluation of the industry.

At its most recent AGM, Sir Ken Morrison, former chairman of Morrisons, launched a scathing attack on current CEO Dalton Philips, branding his plans to rejuvenate the store as "bulls***".

"When I left work and started working as a hobby, I chose to raise cattle," said Morrison. "I have something like 1,000 bullocks and, having listened to your presentation, Dalton, you've got a lot more bulls*** than me."

Morrisons has announced plans to slash 2,600 jobs as part of its restructuring programme.