Online retailer Ocado has given its share price a jolt by appointing ex-Marks & Spencer chief Sir Stuart Rose as its chairman.

Rose will take up the role of chairman “designate” from 11 March and is expected to be officially installed at Ocado’s annual general meeting in May. He replaces Lord Grade, who will retire.

The retailer’s share price jumped by almost 7% following the news this morning (22 January).

However, Rose may need to use all of his vast experience, which includes time as CEO and executive chairman of Marks & Spencer, in order to instil confidence in Ocado’s long-term business prospects. The retailer faces growing competition from the UK’s biggest grocers moving online, and is reliant on Waitrose for its food supply.

“I have been very impressed at the impact and progress Ocado has made to date,” said Rose. “As retail goes through a fundamental shift into the digital world, I believe Ocado’s model and the high standards of customer service it provides will see it emerge as a powerful online player.”

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