Morrisons has ousted CEO Dalton Philips by its board after the supermarket reported disappointing Christmas sales figures, which were the worst among the Big Four in the UK.

Philips, who has been with Morrisons for the last five years, will serve the supermarket chain till the year-end results, which will be announced in March 2015.

Search for Philips’ replacement has already begun.

Five years ago, Philips took over the reins of CEO from Marc Bolland when the supermarket firm has not been doing well.

According to industry sources, some of the few mistakes committed by him included the £70m takeover of online children and baby retailer Kiddicare, which was subsequently sold three years later. These mistakes led to gradual loss of market share.

Philips also came under pressure for Morrisons’ poor trading performance, especially due to the delays in shifting to the convenience store sector and establishing an online operation.

Currently, the major four grocers in the UK are facing tough competition from German discount retailers Aldi and Lidl.

Morrisons posted a 3.1% decline in like-for-like sales excluding fuel in the six weeks to 4 January; however, this was better than near-7% drop in the previous quarter.

Morrisons chairman-elect Andrew Higginson said: "We need to return the business to growth. The board believes this is best done under new leadership."

In 2015, the supermarket chain is planning to close 10 loss-making stores, which would put 400 jobs at risk. However, further details not have been divulged.