Online grocer Ocado Group has announced plans to appoint Richard Haythornthwaite as the chairman of its board at its AGM in May 2021.
He will replace Lord Stuart Rose, who will be retiring from the role after eight years of service.
Lord Rose, chairman of Ocado Group, said, "It has been a privilege to be the chairman of Ocado Group over the last eight years and to have helped steer the business to where it is today, a world-leading online grocer and solutions provider driving unprecedented change in the industry.
"The extraordinary creativity, problem-solving, resilience, and adaptability shown by the people of Ocado Group has been in evidence particularly through the COVID crisis, and I know that these qualities will serve the business well in the years to come."
Haythornthwaite will join the company's board as an independent non-executive director on 1 January 2021 before assuming the chairman's role after the AGM in May.
An Accomplished Professional
He is an accomplished professional with a wealth of experience as chairman, non-executive director, and CEO of several companies.
Chief executive officer of Ocado Group, Tim Steiner, said, "He [Haythornthwaite] has substantial experience of leading and chairing a range of high profile industrial and technology companies.
"He will play a key role in helping us to navigate a post-COVID future in which the landscape of the grocery market worldwide is changing for good and, using his experience at Mastercard, to help us scale up and take advantage of the very significant global opportunities ahead."
Currently, he serves as the chairman of Mastercard Inc., which he joined just before the company launched its IPO in 2006.
He is also the chairman and co-founder of QiO Technologies Ltd, an advanced analytics and AI software company.
Previously, he served as CEO of listed companies Invensys plc and Blue Circle Industries plc.
He has also held senior positions on the boards of Cookson Group plc, Lafarge SA, Imperial Chemical Industries plc, Land Securities plc, Network Rail Limited, Better Regulation Commission and Centrica plc.
Commenting on his new role, Haythornthwaite said, "It will be an honour to work with Tim [Steiner], the Board, and all the team, to build on the extraordinary progress of Ocado Group on its journey to become a global solutions provider to the grocery industry.
"As Stuart [Rose] hands over the baton, I know that this is a business in great shape, well prepared for the velocity of growth ahead of it, and I look forward to playing my part in writing a new chapter in the remarkable story that is Ocado Group."
Lord Rose will remain with the company as a chairman of the board to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities in May, Ocado added.
Haythornthwaite will join the nomination committee and chair the committee after Lord Rose's retirement.