Sainsbury’s Argos chief digital and marketing officer Bertrand Bodson has been hired as pharmaceutical giant Novartis’ chief digital officer.

Bodson will join the pharmaceutical business in January and report to chief executive Joseph Jimenez.

He will be tasked with creating a company-wide digital strategy for the business and lead its digital transformation to improve its use of data.

Bodson, whose departure from Sainsbury’s Argos was revealed by Retail Week last month, has held his most recent role since September last year, shortly after the grocer completed its £1.4bn acquisition of the electricals retailer.

He was previously chief digital officer at Argos for a three-year period, during which time he was instrumental in steering the retailer’s digital-first transformation.

He took his first job in the retail sector in 2003 as a senior manager at Amazon before co-founding social network and video sharing platform in 2006.

Novartis boss Jiminez said: “Bertrand has a proven track record of creating and implementing successful digital strategies across global companies, and leading cultural change in order to make this happen at scale.

“This is not just about digital helping the business. Bertrand will help us transform our business model using digital technologies.”

Bodson added: “I am very excited to be joining Novartis to play a part in its efforts to reimagine medicine by leveraging digital on behalf of millions of patients and practitioners.

“While this will be one of the most important and disruptive challenges in the years to come, Novartis, as a global leader, is particularly well positioned to drive this, and have an even greater and sustainable impact on healthcare worldwide.”