Justin King, who was chief executive of Sainsbury’s for more than 10 years, is to join the board of Marks & Spencer as a non-executive director.

King previously led the food team at Marks & Spencer and the development of Simply Food at M&S. Before that, he was part of the Asda turnaround team under Archie Norman, who is now M&S chairman.

“Having worked there 15 years ago, M&S has a very special place in my affections,” said King. “I look forward to joining the board and supporting Steve [M&S chief executive Steve Rowe] in the turnaround he is leading.”

M&S has been working on a transformation plan designed to modernise the business as it looks to improve its systems and recover lost market share among younger shoppers. Activity has included store closures and the scaling-back of its Simply Food openings.

“I am delighted Justin has agreed to join us,” said Rowe. “As we navigate the challenges ahead, it will be enormously helpful to have his experience, wisdom and insight on the board. Many colleagues remember his time at M&S and will warmly welcome him back.”

M&S chairman Norman added: “Justin’s appointment completes a very significant reorientation of the board in the last year. He will be a great addition to a strong team.”

King will continue to serve as vice-chairman of Terra Firma and on the Public Interest Body of PwC.