Tesco veteran Andrew Yaxley has landed the new position of managing director for London at the grocer, tasked with tailoring stores for the diversity of affluence and ethnicity in the capital.

Yaxley, who was thought to be a contender for the UK boss role which was handed to former chief operating officer Chris Bush last month, has been with the UK’s biggest retailer for over 10 years.

He has held roles in the grocer’s fast growing eastern European business heading up its expansion programme in the region.

Until October, Yaxley was charged with revamping Tesco’s fresh food offer, a central part of its UK turnaround plan.

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke said fresh food had been a key problem for the retailer after issuing Tesco’s first profit warning in 20 years in January.

Yaxley, who held the role of fresh and frozen foods commercial director for two and half year, said last October that the best moment of his Tesco career was being offered the job.

However, in the same month he was moved from the role to be inducted into the grocer’s general management training programme ahead of his promotion to London boss.

Hiring a managing director for the capital is a bold move by the grocer, however London is unique, with a greater ethnic mix than elsewhere in the UK and a higher proportion of young shoppers, and Tesco has 500 stores inside the M25.

Yaxley, who has key segmentation experience, will be charged with personalising the offer in the stores.

He will also be tasked with rolling out its dotcom-only dark stores in the region which will be critical for its growing online business.