Waitrose has introduced a new director's role following the departure of marketing director Christian Cull.

Supply chain director Tony Solomons will take on marketing responsibilities for Waitrose as the first-ever customer development director.

Waitrose said the position would bring together a number of existing functions, including marketing and communications, along with an enhanced focus on business development.

"Waitrose has ambitious development plans over the coming years. This new post will help strengthen our focus on customers' evolving expectations in the way we develop the Waitrose business," said Stuart Hampson, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.

Solomons joined the partnership in 1982 as a Waitrose management trainee, and he took on the role of operations manager in 1988.

In 1990 he was made assistant to the director of trading (food) before he became personnel director in 1995. He took up the role of supply chain director in January 2005.

The John Lewis Partnership said it was looking to appoint a new supply chain director.

Cull is leaving to take on a new role in a public company outside the retail sector at the end of this month.