Waitrose gives marketing a seat at the board

Waitrose is moving its marketing function out of the commercial division and promoting director of marketing Rupert Thomas to the Waitrose management board.

Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal
Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal

He will now take the title marketing director. The retailer says he has led a number of successful high-profile initiatives, including the development of essential Waitrose, the Delia and Heston campaign and Duchy Originals from Waitrose.

The appointment is part of a restructure following the departure of commercial director Richard Hodgson to join rival supermarket Morrisons.

The changes see supply chain director Mark Williamson become commercial director. He started his career in marketing and buying at Tesco before moving to J Sainsbury, where he held a number of senior buying roles as well as being promoted to procurement director and trading director.

He joined Waitrose in June 2004 as head of buying, grocery.

There have been widespread changes in senior management across the supermarkets in recent weeks culminating in the news that Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy is to retire.

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