Ocado CEO departs

Ocado CEO departs

Ocado Retail has announced that after three years as Chief Executive of Ocado Retail, Melanie Smith CBE will be leaving the business on 31 August 2022.

Melanie Smith CBE

Mel has been instrumental in the formation of the joint venture, since it was established in August 2019, bringing together the strength of M&S’s brand and its leading food quality, with Ocado’s proprietary technology and award- winning customer service.

As part of the transition process, Mel will be handing over to Lawrence Hene, on an interim basis, who previously was Deputy CEO at Ocado Retail, and since the creation of the 50-50 joint venture between Ocado Group and M&S in 2019, has remained on its Board as a Non-Executive Director. A permanent successor will be appointed in due course.

Mel Smith, CEO of Ocado Retail, said: “It has been a privilege to lead the Ocado Retail team over the last three years. In this period, we have successfully established the joint venture as the UK’s best online grocer with outstanding service, introduced M&S Food to online consumers for the first time, and played our part in feeding the nation through the Covid pandemic. After three years now is the right time for me to move on to new challenges and I leave behind a strong business, full of energetic, amazing colleagues that have achieved so many great things and I know will take the business onwards to achieve many more. Myheartfelt thanks go to every single person at Ocado Retail for their brilliance, dedication, and tremendous support. Thank you to you all.”

Stuart Machin, CEO of Marks & Spencer, said: “Mel has been fundamental in establishing our joint venture and the successful switchover to M&S supply. I am grateful for the contribution she has made in this early phase. Whilst today’s market conditions are tough for everyone, we believe in the long-term opportunity of our partnership and the substantial further potential in the joint venture.”


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