Holland & Barrett has hired former Sainsbury’s Argos director Steve Carson for the newly created role of managing director.

Carson – who was the grocer’s director of retail and customer operations and previously held senior roles at Argos and Homebase – will be responsible for driving Holland & Barrett’s digital transformation.

During his tenure at Sainsbury’s Argos, he oversaw 840 stores and 30,000 employees.

As retail director at Argos – before the business was acquired by Sainsbury’s – he created its digital store concept and managed the rollout of its hub-and-spoke delivery network.

In his new role, reporting to Holland & Barrett chief executive Peter Aldis, Carson will oversee the day-to-day running of the business, including pursuing growth in retail operations, ecommerce and supply chain.

Aldis said the appointment represents an “important and strategic milestone” for the retailer, as it aspires to drive digital transformation.

He said: “Coming so soon after our acquisition by L1 Retail, it is a clear signal of our intent to become one of the world’s leading health and wellness brands.

“[Carson] will focus on our digital transformation programme and will help us continue to innovate in stores, ecommerce, logistics and supply chain as well as in customer service and fulfilment, creating the right platform for long-term sustainable digital growth.”

Aldis added that the hire “significantly strengthens” the retailer’s senior leadership team, giving it greater capacity to deliver its UK and international ambitions.

Carson said: “I know the board is committed to innovation, from the supply chain through to customer service, and together with the team I look forward to helping them realise our growth and development ambitions in the coming years.”

Holland & Barrett currently operates more than 1,100 stores globally, including 788 UK branches.