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Sir Stuart Rose named Ocado’s next chairman

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Sir Stuart Rose, former chief executive and chairman of Marks & Spencer, has been named as the incoming chairman of Ocado .

Sir Stuart, who spent seven years at M&S , will head the online grocer’s board from May 10, when its current chairman, Lord Michael Grade, who is also a non-executive director, is to retire.

Sir Stuart, whose experience also includes two years heading the Arcadia Group, says he sees a bright future for the company, which has expanded the area that it serves over the last two years and is set to open its second customer fulfillment centre later this year. “I have been very impressed at the impact and progress Ocado has made to date,” he said. “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.”

Sir Stuart’s other board positions include the role of non-executive director at Land Securities, and chairman of both Blue Inc and Dressippi.

Tim Steiner, chief executive at Ocado, 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.

“Lord Grade has been a great asset to the company during his tenure as chairman of the board and personally a great support to me. We are grateful to him for his guidance, insight and expertise over the years and wish him well in his retirement.”

Lord Grade said: “After a smooth succession process and having secured a new chairman my job at Ocado is almost complete. After six exhilarating and eventful years I am leaving the company in the best possible hands. Sir Sutart’s substantial retail experience and commercial acumen will add significant value. Ocado is one of the most innovative and exciting growth companies in the UK and it has been a privilege to be a part of their story.”

Ocado also announced that non-executive director Wendy Becker, who is chief operating officer at Jack Wills, was to stand down.

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