Outgoing Waitrose boss Mark Price has been unveiled as Trade Minister for the Foreign Office and the Department for Business.
Price will also be given a life peerage within the House of Lords as part of his new Government role.
It comes after Price revealed last October that he was stepping down from both his role at the upmarket grocer and his deputy chairmanship of the John Lewis Partnership on April 3.
The self-styled “Chubby Grocer” had expressed an interest in taking on roles outside of retail and this is the first confirmed appointment since revealing his decision to step down.
Price, who will hand the Waitrose baton to retail director Rob Collins, said at the time he was stepping down to concentrate on applying for the chairman role at Channel 4.
But Price missed out on the role after easyJet deputy chairman Charles Gurassa was named as Lord Burns’ replacement last month.
Price has been appointed as Minister of State jointly at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). He will take up the role in April, following his departure from Waitrose.
His appointment comes following the resignation of the Rt Hon Lord Maude.
Price has spent 33 years at the partnership and was appointed as deputy chairman in 2013. He had been tipped as a potential successor to chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield.
Speaking to Retail Week following news of his impending Waitrose exit, Price said he wouldn’t be returning to retail.
On whether he had come to the end of his career in the industry, Price said: “I would think so. I might end up with a chairmanship of an FMCG brand, but I can’t see myself getting back into retail.
“If something came up at the luxury end of the market, I may do that.”
Away from business, Price will publish three books this year year, one on business and the power of employee engagement, another on food and his first children’s book. He has been commissioned to publish further books in 2017, including one on lessons in business.
Price will also lecture on business, and will work with a consultancy in the area of employee engagement.