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New CEO for Ocado Retail

Marks and Spencer has confirmed that its strategy director Melanie Smith has been promoted into the role of CEO for Ocado Retail, the much lauded joint venture which will see Marks and Spencer move into the online grocery business. Interim CEO Lawrence Hene will remain as deputy chief executive for a period prior to his returning to the Ocado Group. 

This follows Marks and Spencer's acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Ocado's UK retail business which will see the new joint venture launch once Ocado's contractual obligations to Waitrose are complete. Marks and Spencer products will then sit alongside Ocado's own brands and others as part of a full online ordered home delivery service.

Steve Rowe, M&S CEO said: "I ahve always believed that M&S Food could and should be online. The addition of Ocado to our family of businesses marks M&S' first truly transformational step in securing our future as a digital first retailer, as we combine the magic of M&S food with Ocado's award-winning service to create a new and compelling proposition." 

Ocado Retail's board will also comprise Steve Rowe and M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin together with Tim Steiner, Ocado CEO. Steiner will also serve as chair of the board of Ocado Retail, supported by Ocado's CFO Duncan Tatton-Brown.

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