Waitrose has announced a shake up of its executive team in the wake of commercial director Richard Hodgson's move to Morrisons.

Hodgson's departure was announced this morning (8 June) and later in the day Waitrose said it had "drawn on its own talent pool" for two new appointments.

Mark Williamson, supply chain director, will now move into the role of commercial director and Rupert Thomas, director of marketing (commercial), has been promoted to the Waitrose management board as marketing director.

Williamson started his career in marketing and buying with Tesco before moving to Sainsbury’s. He took up up his role with Waitrose in 2004.

An announcement on a supply chain director is expected in several weeks.

Thomas' appointment follows Waitrose's decision to move its marketing function out of the commercial directorate.

Thomas took on the job of marketing director in March 2009, six years after joining Waitrose. He has led the development of entry-level, own-label line Essential Waitrose and the creation of the Duchy Originals from Waitrose range.

Mark Price, managing director for Waitrose said: “Richard has done a great job for Waitrose but I respect his wish to return to Yorkshire. He goes with our gratitude and all good wishes for the future.”

However, he added: “To have two such high-calibre individuals to take on these important positions is evidence of the quality of talent in Waitrose. Mark and Rupert bring the leadership, energy and skills to fuel the momentum of this business.”