Morrisons chairman Sir Ian Gibson has announced that he will stand down at next year’s annual general meeting. The news came ahead of today’s AGM at the group's head office on Gain Lane which follows a loss-making year in 2013 as Morrisons sales continued to be squeezed by low cost competitors.

Morrisons said it would conduct ‘an orderly process’ to find a successor and further announcements will be made, as appropriate.'

Sir Ian said: "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."

Sir Ian, who joined the company as non-executive deputy chairman in September 2007, was appointed chairman following the retirement of Sir Ken Morrison in March 2008.

He had a 30-year career in the motor industry, including building up Nissan's UK operations in Sunderland, and became president of Nissan Europe.

He was also non-executive chairman of Trinity-Mirror plc and a former deputy chairman of Asda, director of Northern Rock and a member of the Court of the Bank of England.

Last month Morrisons revealed details of its £1 billion price cutting campaign, launched after the group slumped to an annual loss of £176 million in the year to February 2, 2014, after a profit of £879 million the year before.

Morrisons is bidding to attract more customers into its stores and convenience shops, as well as rolling out its online delivery business which started in the Bradford area at the beginning of 2014.