Tesco has turned to an fmcg marketing veteran amid accusations that it has been consistently outgunned by its rivals in recent months.

A shake-up announced this week by UK CEO Richard Brasher saw former Kraft and Unilever marketing executive David Wood summoned from his position as Tesco commercial director in Hungary to launch a fresh assault against rivals in fmcg and food as UK marketing director.

Wood’s arrival would “bring great trading experience as a commercial director in Tesco, coupled with time managing and marketing brands for Kraft and Unilever,” Brasher said.

Tesco, which launched its latest Big Price Drop campaign this week, has been widely criticised for its marketing strategy and the appointment is expected to spark a drive to get it back on track.

“They need a much clearer communications strategy,” said one leading supplier. “At the moment, Tesco’s rivals are outmanoeuvring them. When they pull levers they get results, whereas Tesco is losing share at a rate of knots.”

Marketing consultant Andrew Marsden added: “The job of Tesco marketing director is not a commercial job. They’ve already got a very commercially oriented CEO and Richard Brasher is a very commercial animal.”

Wood was a good hire, added Robert Harwood-Matthews, president of advertising agency TBWA UK. “David has a great record in fmcg and food marketing, leading campaigns for iconic brands at Kraft and Unilever. He can bring to bear both his marketing and commercial expertise, which is a powerful combination for Tesco.”

Wood replaces Carolyn Bradley, who moves to a new global position as group brand director, reporting to deputy CEO and chief marketing officer Tim Mason.