New job: Ocado Retail appoints Hannah Gibson as CEO
Ocado’s online grocery business has appointed Hannah Gibson as new CEO, as the company hopes to retain consumers amid the cost of living crunch.
Gibson will take up her position on 20 September, stepping into the shoes of Melanie Smith, who left in July, Ocado Retail announced on Wednesday morning.
She has spent more than 10 years at parent firm Ocado Group prior to this, in several commercial and technology roles. Gibson is currently chief product officer for Ocado Technology.
Ocado Retail became a joint venture with supermarket M&S in 2019.
The incoming chief said she was “thrilled” to take on the job as it looks to “meet the market challenges of today.”
In recent months, the online grocer has suffered with shoppers adding less to their baskets in the wake of Covid lockdowns easing.
The online grocer performed well during the pandemic, where restrictions pushed households with extra lockdown cash towards home delivery-driven shopping, with many Brits deterred by in-store experiences.
Losses widened to £211m, from £27.9m the year prior, for the six month period to 29 May, as customers tightened their purse strings as inflation surged past 40-year highs.
Ocado Retail has “big ambitions” and was “well-prepared for faster growth in the years to come,” Tim Steiner, chairman of Ocado Retail, said.
“I am confident that Hannah is the right leader to deliver on these ambitions, whilst also being able to navigate the nearer-term challenges associated with the macroeconomic environment,” he said.
Ocado Group’s share price was down by almost three per cent on Wednesday afternoon.