Steinhoff UK group CEO Stuart Machin is to join Marks & Spencer as its managing director of food.

Machin will have overall P&L accountability for all aspects of the M&S Food business when he joins the company in April in the newly created role. The moves comes as the retailer accelerates plans to overhaul its food arm.

M&S said the appointment of Machin – a former CEO of Target Australia and previously chief operating officer of Coles Supermarkets Australia – would further strengthen the top team.

Reporting to M&S CEO Steve Rowe, Machin, who has also held positions with Asda Walmart, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, will work alongside M&S clothing & home MD Jill McDonald, and food marketing director Sharry Cramond, who is focusing on improving customer perceptions on price and provenance.

The retailer’s director of food, Andy Adcock, will leave the company at the end of April after nine years.

“We face challenges in our food business and we have lots to do to change, fast,” said M&S CEO Steve Rowe.

“Stuart is an excellent addition to our team. He gets food retailing and he has first-class experience of driving change in big food retailers. At M&S we need to sharpen our prices, improve our products, drive profitability and grow market share – Stuart is the right leader to get on and deliver these changes.”

Machin said: “My heart lies in food retail and I am excited to bring my passion for dynamic, customer-led food retailing to M&S. The business has many reasons to be proud of its food offer, but there are also opportunities and lots to deliver under the transformation plan that Steve has laid out. I am looking forward to joining the team.”