Steven Esom, a former executive director of food at MARKS AND SPENCER and MD of Waitrose, has been named chairman of BRC Trading, the commercial arm of the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Esom, currently an operating partner at Langholm Capital and chairman of the Food Standards Agency, retailer hygiene rating scheme, began his career with Sainsbury’s in 1982. He has “extensive experience in retail and the food sector”, the BRC said today (11 February).

He will take over from David Adams at the beginning of April. Adams has been acting as interim chairman since Gordon Brown stepped down from the role in August last year.

“BRC Trading is going from strength to strength,” Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC said. “It’s a measure of its success that someone of Steven’s calibre has chosen to take on this role.”