Halfords lose transformational CIO to supermarket chain
Anna Barsby is leaving outdoor and automotive retailer Halfords to move to Morrisons, the Leeds headquartered supermarket chain locked in battle with giants Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
Barsby’s move was first reported by Retail Week and the successful and transformative CIO confirmed to me yesterday of her move. Morrisons is a return to supermarkets for Barsby who previously worked at Sainsbury’s in her career between 2002 and 2009.
Barsby has been CIO at Halfords for three years and has been an instrumental part of the organisation’s recent success. Halfords has been facing digital disruption in it’s cycling, outdoor and automotive markets, but in the last three years has transformed all parts of its business, whether technology, shop floor and staff.
Morrisons recently surprised the retail market with a partnership with Amazon, the US online retail giant. Amazon and Morrisons have partnered to see the online leaders offer Morrison’s fresh and frozen foods on the Amazon platform.
Morrisons is currently the fourth largest supermarket in the UK and said the Amazon deal, which will be a major supply chain challenge to the business, will help it grow its online business. As well as the deal with Amazon, Morrisons has extended its relationship with Ocado, which initially had a supply deal with Waitrose of the John Lewis Partnership.
Barsby’s move follows Sainsbury’s announcing it will create 150 jobs for technologists in Manchester as the online supermarket battle increases in intensity. Sainsbury’s already employs 900 digital workers and is focusing on DevOps expertise.