Watson was previously sales director at Hancocks and has worked at the wholesaler for 33 years.
He takes the top job following a management shake-up at Hancocks. As part of the restructure, the company's owners Andrew and Adrian Hancock, formerly joint CEOs, become joint chairmen and will be responsible for looking into areas of expansion.
"We took a good look at the upper structure of the company to ensure it was equipped to manage the ongoing growth of Hancocks," said Andrew Hancock. "These changes should enable the company to move forward competently and efficiently."
Last week Hancocks revealed it had revamped four of its depots, including its flagship Manchester site, and pledged to upgrade more in the future.