Marks & Spencer has poached Laura Wade-Gery from Tesco to be its executive director multi-channel ecommerce.

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Wade-Gery is currently chief executive of and Tesco Direct. She was also due to take over Tesco’s UK non-food operation when boss Sir Terry Leahy retires in March and Philip Clarke takes the reins and shakes up the management team.

It follows the surprise exit of Dave Hughes, director of M&S Direct, last week, who joined Game.

It is unclear when Wade-Gery will join M&S and what the terms of her appointment will be.

Tesco has appointed Per Bank commercial director for Tesco’s UK clothing, electricals and general merchandise from March - the role which Wade-Gery was due to take up. Bank is currently chief executive of Tesco Hungary.

M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: “I am delighted that Laura is joining the Executive Team. Her appointment is in line with the plans we announced last November to grow our multi-channel e-commerce business both in the UK and internationally. Laura brings a wealth of relevant experience to M&S and we are all very much looking forward to working with her.”

Robert Swannell, M&S chairman, said: “On behalf of everyone at M&S I would like to welcome Laura to her new role. She will be a real asset to the board debate and the development of our online channel.”

Wade-Gery said: “I am really looking forward to joining the team. M&S is an iconic brand, and has huge potential to develop a multi-channel offering for its customers.”

Tesco’s Clarke said: “I am grateful to Laura for the contribution she has made to the success of Tesco and wish her well for the future.”