Morrisons has announced that its chairman Ian Gibson will step down next year
Morrisons has announced that its chairman Ian Gibson will step down next year

British supermarket Morrisons has said that its chairman Ian Gibson will not be pursuing re-election at next year's AGM.

The chain has come under intense pressure in recent months following diving sales and reduction of its market share. Gibson is hoping the change in management will signify the beginning of different fortunes for the UK's fourth largest supermarket.

"This term will take me into my eighth year on Wm Morrisons board, and this announcement gives the board time to conduct an orderly search for a new Chairman and ensure a smooth transition," he said in a statement.

Such has been the financial strain that has been placed on Morrisons, it is planning to axe 2,000 jobs across 500 of its stores within weeks, according to the Guardian.

It goes on to say that the cuts will fall onto product managers, who are responsible for overseeing food and non-food sections.

Morrisons declined to comment.

The supermarket chain isn't the only store that has been under pressure recently. Earlier in June, Tesco reported falling sales for a third consecutive quarter.

Tesco CEO Philip Clarke has been under intense scrutiny recently after the retailer failed to post a profit since 2012 and investors are beginning to grow weary.

"Clarke has shown he is the wrong person for the job. He has got the strategy wrong," one unnamed major shareholder told the Financial Times in April after the company posted a 6% decline in profits in its annual results.

Britain's grocery market has grown at its slowest pace in 11 years as the cost of living crisis has meant that households have less money to spend on bumper weekly shops.