Neil, who replaces Gary Warren, was previously commercial director at Waterstone’s, which was part of HMV Group until its recent sale.
He will be responsible for product buying and merchandising and will oversee a fifty-five strong commercial department for HMV UK & Ireland and Fopp, including its music, games and technology product teams.
Neil has previously held marketing and brand strategy roles at Blackwell’s bookstore chain and WHSmiths.
A spokesman for HMV says the appointment has no bearing on marketing activity at the entertainment group, confirming that it is still actively looking for a direct replacement for its former marketing director Graham Sim who left the chain in May.
HMV CEO Simon Fox says: “Michael brings with him a wealth of commercial insight and retail experience gained across a number of senior positions, and I am delighted to welcome him to HMV at this pivotal time as we continue our transformation into a broad-based entertainment brand.”
The entertainment group reported a £122m loss for the year to April, hit by declining sales at its entertainment stores.