Smith previously worked for Somerfield, where he was group marketing director, and Kraft General Foods, where he held a number of management roles. Martin Hyson, who has been interim managing director since November, will take up the new role of group business development director.
Musgrave Group chief executive Chris Martin said: 'Phil joins at a very exciting time in the development of our British business. Significant progress has been made, with Budgens' divestment programme on schedule and the Budgens' and Londis offers reshaped in the past 12 months to meet consumer demand.
'Phil's combination of experience in food and retailing makes him ideally suited to lead our business over the coming years.'
Smith added: 'Musgrave's unique way of working and supporting retailers, its strong company values and the exciting potential of the business are what attracted me to taking up this challenge.'