Smith will head up the Netto integration team overseeing the transition to Asda following the sale of its 194 UK stores for £778m in May.
Smith has been at Netto for a number of years, holding a series of senior roles including development controller and most recently property director. He stepped up as interim MD in November 2008 when then-MD Richard Lancaster left to join Morrisons.
Netto has been plagued by tumbling sales since the announcement of its sale to Asda. Its market share shrank to 0.7% and it lost 10% of its sales [£16.8m] according to the most recent Kantar Worldpanel figures [12w/e 31 October]. Lidl and Aldi grew by 6.5% and 3.3% over the same period.
The deal has yet to receive full approval from the Office of Fair Trading. In September it ordered Asda to sell off 47 of Netto's stores and in some instances the regulator must approve the buyer before the deal goes ahead.
Asda will begin its first conversions next year and said it was still on track to complete the transition by late summer.