The new CEO of Metcash is a supermarket expert

A TV advertisment for IGA. IGA/ YouTube

Metcash today announced that Jeff Adams, a retail executive with long experience in supermarkets, will be the new CEO of the operator of the independent chain IGA.

He will succeed Ian Morrice who notified the board of his intention to retire in 2018 after five years in the role.

Adams joins the company at a time of weak sales growth at supermarkets, which have been under attack from discount players.

Last month Metcash posted a 20.6% fall in full year statutory net profit to $171.9 million. However, underlying profit was up 9.3% to $194.8 million, excluding one-off costs, including restructuring and the cost of the acquisition of Home Timber & Hardware (HTH).

Group sales were up 5.4% to $14.12 billion for the 53 weeks reported.

Adams has held a number of senior positions with the UK’s Tesco PLC over 20 years, including CEO of Tesco Kipa in Turkey, CEO of Tesco Lotus in Thailand, retail operations director of Fresh & Easy in the US, and director of operations of Tesco Express in the UK.

“I am deeply passionate about the independent retail sector and am honoured to be joining a company whose core purpose is building their success,” he says.

“Independent retailing is in my family, and I understand the vital role that independents play in local communities and the economy more widely.”

Since leaving Tesco in 2015, Adams has been operating as a business consultant across the US and Europe.

He will be paid $1.8 million, plus various short- and long-term incentives.