Tesco has restructured its commercial department following the appointment of David Wild, commercial director for non-food products such as tobacco and petrol, to the new role of director of European development.
The creation of the post signals Tesco’s growing interest in European expansion.
Observers believe it could presage a further move into continental Europe.
The chain first moved across the Channel in 1993, with the purchase of French supermarket operator Catteau, which runs the Cedico chain throughout Northern France.
Tesco plans to open 20 supermarkets in Hungary with the majority interest it has bought in local operator Global.
Speculation is rife that the chain is seeking another purchase in France, though the company has denied this.
Tesco has two other commercial directors for food: Keith Brandon and Colin Smith. They report to the Tesco board and are responsible for trading and buying decisions.
It is understood that the chain is promoting two more staff – Steve Agar, trading director for bakery, and Simon Uwins, trading director for health and beauty – as commercial directors.
Tesco would not comment on the restructure.