Morrisons has poached Waitrose commercial director Richard Hodgson to become its group commercial director.

The grocer’s group trading director Martyn Jones will move into a new role of group corporate services director from September, reporting to chief executive Dalton Philips. The role will focus on government affairs, corporate responsibility, public relations and food safety. Jones has been with the business for 20 years, and will also step down from the Morrisons board in September.

Hodgson, 40, has been with Waitrose since 2006. Prior to that he spent 10 years at Asda in several senior roles, most recently as brand and marketing director.

Philips said: “Martyn is a retail heavyweight who has made an enormous contribution to Morrisons success over a number of years.  He has valuable experience in all areas of food retailing and will make an immediate and significant impact in his new role as Group Corporate Services Director.

“I’m delighted to welcome Richard to the Morrisons team.  He brings wide experience from all areas of the UK grocery market and has made a big impact in all of his senior roles. His appointment underlines Morrisons ability to attract the very best talent in retail to our team and we very much look forward to working with him.”

Waitrose has made two appointments today. Mark Williamson moves to commercial director, from supply chain director. A new supply chain director is not expected for several weeks.

And the second move involves the marketing function being moved out of the commerical directorate, and Rupert Thomas is promoted to the Waitrose management board as marketing director.

Thomas became director of marketing in March 2009, six years after joining Waitrose.

Mark Price, managing director, said: “Richard has done a great job for Waitrose but I respect his wish to return to Yorkshire. He goes with our gratitude and all good wishes for the future.”