Tesco has confirmed former Ocado director of non-food Simon Belsham is rejoining the company as MD of its grocery online business, less than two years after leaving.

Belsham will head up grocery home shopping and Tesco’s growing empire of dotcom only stores. 

He previously worked in a range of key operational roles at Tesco and his return after only 18 months at Ocado comes amid increasingly intense competition in the online grocery sector.  

Educated at Cambridge and Harvard Business School, initial rumours of his departure last November were reported to have caused Ocado shares to fall 5%.

Belsham was leading Ocado’s move into non-food, for which it built up approximately 9,000 lines of toys, sports equipment, books home and garden equipment in the run-up to Christmas. The retailer recently opened a new non-food distribution centre in Welwyn Garden City as part of its expansion plans.

Belsham will work with former House of Fraser boss turned Tesco multichannel director Robin Terrell, to develop the blueprint for Tesco’s grocery online businesses across the group, reporting to UK operations director, Gerry Gray.