Ex-Marks & Spencer (M&S) CEO Sir Stuart Rose has been appointed Chairman of online grocer Ocado, it was announced today.
Rose will take up his new role following Ocado’s AGM on May 10th 2013, when Lord Michael Grade is to retire as a non-executive director and as Chairman.
While at M&S, Rose took on the combined role of CEO and Chairman for three years prior to the appointment of Marc Bolland in 2010 and significantly increased the high street retailer’s share price.
He used huge advertising campaigns with celebrities such as Twiggy, Jamie Redknapp and Myleene Klass to improve the health of M&S’s fashion sector and helped the business as a whole achieve profits of £1 billion in a year.
Commenting on the appointment, Ocado CEO Tim Steiner said: “Sir Stuart is joining Ocado as we enter a hugely exciting period, with a near doubling of our capacity.
“We are looking forward to benefiting from his extensive retail experience and counsel.”
Steiner also expressed his thanks for outgoing Chairman Lord Grade’s “guidance, insight and expertise” during his six years with the company.
Despite concerns last November when the e-tailer was forced to extend its debt facility to avoid breaching its banking covenants, Ocado saw sales increase by 14.2 per cent year-on-year over the Christmas period.
A second fulfilment centre, which will increase the online grocer’s capacity, is due to open later this year.
Rose, who was also announced as Chairman of online fashion recommendation service Dressipi last month, commented: “I have been very impressed at the impact and progress Ocado has made to date.
“As retail goes through a fundamental shift into the digital world, I believe Ocado’s model and the high standards of customer service it provides will see it emerge as a powerful online player.
“I am looking forward to being part of the team.”