Makin replaces Peter Ahye, who is leaving Littlewoods to spend more time with his family.
Makin was previously chief executive of Umbro and has held positions with Asda and Wal-Mart. He will assume full responsibility at the beginning of next month.
Littlewoods has also hired Anita Balchandani as group strategy and business director from OC&C Strategy Consultants.
Group chief executive Mark Newton-Jones said: “I am I am delighted that people of the calibre and expertise of Steve and Anita have joined the Group at such a pivotal time in our transformation.
“I would like to thank Peter for his significant personal contribution and support in the turnaround of the business to-date and wish him every success in his future career and fatherhood.”