This will come into effect on 1 April, and Pownall will also join Tesco’s corporate responsibility committee on the same day.
Pownall was chief executive of Samworth Brothers, the Leicestershire-based food manufacturer and owner of Ginsters, until 31 December 2015.
This month, Keith Vaz MP met with Alex Knight, chief executive of Samworth Brothers, to discuss “grave concerns” about the food manufacturer’s wage proposals.
John Allan, chairman of Tesco, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Lindsey as a non-executive director. She brings a wealth of relevant experience, and complements the existing skills and experience on the board. She will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to the board.”