M&S Sparks tablet

Hornsby was recruited at the beginning of January 

M&S has poached its new head of food online from Tesco, as it pushes ahead with its efforts to become a digitally-led retailer.

It appointed Tesco head of online range and development, Samantha Hornsby, at the beginning of January after nine years at Tesco.

Her previous roles at Tesco include head of online services and partner experience, head of online strategy and propositions, and head of platform development for its clothing brand F&F.

Hornsby has taken over the position from Tim Lee, who left M&S last year to become chief executive of food box delivery service Mindful Chef.

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 She will report to food transformation director Neil Adams, and lead the team responsible for expanding the upmarket retailer’s online grocery business, with a focus on food ordering and its grocery delivery trials. 

“We’re pleased to welcome Samantha as head of food online,” an M&S spokeswoman told the Grocer. “In this role, she is responsible for our existing food to order business and any trials in this area.”

The news follows reports from the Mail on Sunday stating that M&S and Ocado have been in talks regarding potentially launching a joint online grocery delivery service. Ocado and M&S have both opted not to comment on the story.