Ocado has poached a Tesco director to lead its new general merchandise team as it drives to diversify its offer.

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The online grocer has appointed Simon Belsham as head of non-food. He will sit on the etailer’s management committee, reporting in to the executive board. At Tesco he was group multichannel development director.

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said the etailer was entering the next stage of its development, including range expansion. He said: “Simon will lead the team to develop a compelling non-food offer for Ocado.

“He brings with him key retail development and operations experience, having helped develop another leading non-food customer proposition.”

Belsham was also previously Tesco’s UK operations development director, and prior to that he worked as a consultant at Capgemini.

Ocado recorded a gross sales uplift of 24.7% in the 12 weeks to February 20. It launched its first non-food lines at the end of 2008 and now stocks a range including tableware, toys and gifts.