Waitrose has poached Asda chief information officer Cheryl Millington, who will become its IT director.

The upmarket grocer has hired Millington as a replacement for Kevin Berry, who retired earlier this month following a 35-year career at the John Lewis Partnership. She will also join the Waitrose board.

Millington has been chief information officer at Asda, responsible for the delivery and implementation of all its technology projects, since 2009. She was also a member of Walmart’s global IT executive board.

Prior to that, she spent five years at HBOS in a number of roles, including director of group programmes and managing director of its retail branch network. 

Waitrose managing director Mark Price said Millington’s appointment is critical for the retailer. He said: “Effective use of IT is already of massive importance to our business and will become ever more so as we grow and as technology opens up new possibilities. Cheryl is incredibly well qualified to lead us in this.”

Millington takes up her new role in the autumn.

Her appointment comes as Waitrose made a further investment in IT by signing a deal with VoiteQ this week to implement voice-activated technology to control its warehouse.