Outgoing Ocado Solutions CEO Luke Jensen has been appointed as the new executive chairman of sushi-to-go giant Hana Group.
In what is his first appointment since he announced his intention to leave the grocer’s technology arm, Jensen will take over from Hana’s current chairman Steve Dacus, who is stepping down after four years in the role.
Jensen has been a non-executive director at Hana, which operates the Sushi Gourmet brand in the UK, since 2015, and will now take leadership of the supervisory board. His responsibilities will include providing support to CEO Ed Romero and the wider leadership team “on global strategy and operations”, the company said.
“Global demand for sushi and other pan-Asian cuisines continues to grow, driven by consumers’ desire for healthy and convenient meals,” Jensen said.
“Hana Group’s track record of innovation, customer service and consumer experience are central to the leading position it holds in the market.
“I look forward to working even more closely with Ed and the wider management team as we execute on our ambitious global strategy, particularly as we actively explore a strong pipeline of M&A opportunities to accelerate our growth plans,” Jensen added.
In July Jensen announced he would step down from his role at Ocado Solutions in September, in order to focus on his wider portfolio career. He was credited by the company as playing a crucial role in growing its business globally, including through partnerships with retailers such as Aeon in Japan and Coles in Australia.
He is also a member of the advisory board at Retail Week, and previously held an NED position at Asos.
He was also previously group development director at Sainsbury’s until 2014. Hana Group operates Sushi Gourmet counters in Sainsbury’s supermarkets.
Dacus first joined Hana following its acquisition by Permira in 2019, and will remain on the board as a non-executive director.
“Chairing the board of Hana Group has been a great privilege,” Dacus said. “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Luke over the last four years and there is no doubt that his strong transformational and operational track record will be extremely valuable assets for the group as it enters the next phase of strategic growth. I am looking forward to the ongoing collaboration as we transition roles.”
Hana Group CEO Romero said: “Luke’s extensive experience in food retail, transactions and partnerships speaks for itself, and I am confident that his guidance and counsel as our new chairman will help me and the management team to execute on our global plans and take Hana to the next level.”