Marks & Spencer has hired a new head of food online, poaching Samantha Hornsby from Tesco.

Hornsby will take charge of running M&S’ existing online offer and overseeing further developments in the space.

M&S does not yet have a full-line online food delivery proposition but has recently been linked to Ocado, with reports that it could take over the online grocer’s partnership with Waitrose.

M&S first revealed that it would investigate an online delivery proposition in 2018, beginning to experiment with food-for-tonight schemes. The retailer has not yet entered the digital food market due to its low basket size, which makes it uneconomical to run a full delivery proposition.

Hornsby takes over the role from Tim Lee, who left the business in October to take up the reins at healthy online recipe box company Mindful Chef.

M&S will now hire more staff to support Hornsby’s department.

At Tesco, Hornsby was head of online services and experience and was responsible for platform development and online strategy.