Pets at Home has poached Boots’ chief product owner Marc Sbardella to help spearhead “a step change” in its digital strategy.

Sbardella, who has spent 10 years at the health and beauty retailer, joined the specialist pets retailer in the newly created head of digital development role last month.

A spokesman for Pets at Home said that Sbardella’s appointment signalled “a step change” in the retailer’s digital and customer experience strategies.

Sbardella, whose roles at Boots include senior multichannel development manager, has previously worked for Halfords and Thorntons in various ecommerce roles.

He will report to Pets at Home’s ecommerce director Chris Holyland. A spokesman for the retailer said his role will involve leading “the delivery of digital development projects and many aspects of the seamless shopping experience”.

Sbardella is the latest in a raft of new hires at the retailer following its appointment of chief executive Ian Kellett in March.

The retailer also reversed its decision to hire Graeme Jenkins as chief financial officer last month following an investigation by Wesfarmers into his former employer Target.

Pets at Home’s fourth-quarter like-for-likes were up 3.2% last month and it expects its pre-tax profits to match market forecasts of between £93m and £97m.