Tesco has poached former Facebook and Sainsbury’s executives to spearhead the growth of its digital entertainment arm into music and ebooks.

The retailer has appointed Sainsbury’s head of digital Mark Bennett to lead its new Blinkboxmusic service, set to be rolled out later this year, following the acquisition of WE7 in June 2012.

Bennett was managing director of video streaming and rental site Global Media Vault, which was acquired by Sainsbury’s in 2011, before becoming Sainsbury’s head of online entertainment and leading the acquisition of ebook specialist Anobii last year. He has also held roles at Microsoft, HMV, Warner and EMI.

Gavin Sathianathan joins Tesco from Facebook, where he was head of retail for the EMEA region. He is now managing director of Blinkboxbooks, the ebooks service being developed following the acquisition of Mobcast in September 2012 which is set to launch later this year.

Tesco said Blinkbox’s director of advertising Scott Deutrom will lead its Clubcard TV venture whereby loyalty card holders will be able to stream free films and TV programmes.

Tesco digital entertainment chief executive Michael Comish said: “The development of these new services demonstrates our total commitment to providing the very best entertainment as easily as possible for our customers. They allow us to provide even more choice in how customers buy and enjoy their entertainment.”

Sathianathan added: “Technology is changing how people read. Offering a digital book service is an example of what Tesco does best - focussing on the customer and anticipating their needs as the market evolves. It’s a great time to join a team at the vanguard of this shift.”