Meet our leadership team

Melanie Smith - CEO
Melanie Smith


Hi, I’m Mel. I was appointed CEO of Ocado Retail in 2019.

Life before Ocado: I was Strategy Director for Marks & Spencer with responsibility for group strategy, M&S Bank and M&S Services. Before that, I was the Bupa Global Strategy and Marketing Director, and Chief Operating Officer at TalkTalk. Before joining the corporate world, I was a partner in McKinsey’s Retail practice, working with grocers on every continent. I hold an LLB (Hons)/Bcom. from Auckland University and an MBA from Kellogg.

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: the outstanding range of products that I can get from Ocado that I can’t get anywhere else, this is particularly helpful with my foody French husband – we love the Natoora tomatoes and finocchiona; the Picard mussels and the Reflets de France Chaource.

Niall McBride - CFO
Niall McBride


Hi, I’m Niall. I’m CFO for Ocado Retail with responsibility for our Finance, HR, IT and Legal functions, supporting the commercial teams to continue driving the growth of our business.

Life before Ocado: I was Managing Director in corporate finance at Rothschild & Co. where, over 12 years, I worked across a wide variety of sectors, including supply chain and logistics businesses, and consumer-facing industries. I’m a Chartered Accountant having worked at PWC and EY. I hold a BSc (Hons) Business Studies from the University of Ulster and a PgDip Accountancy from Queen’s University Belfast.

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: my favourite thing is the convenience of the early morning and late evening time slots. With two young boys, we always have something to do, so getting our groceries when we need them makes a big difference.

Christina Hawley - New Businesses Director
Christina Hawley

New Businesses Director

Hi, I’m Christina. I am responsible for managing and growing our new and complementary businesses including our General Merchandise portfolio, Fetch, Zoom and Food to Order.

Life before Ocado: I was an associate partner at McKinsey & Co where I focused on helping retail clients achieve their goals in digital and eCommerce. I also spent time working for Marks & Spencers and Jumia, the largest eCommerce platform in Africa. I have an MBA from INSEAD and a BS from SUNY-FIT (Summa Cum Laude).

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: friendliest delivery guys! We have a lot of packages show up at our house but the Ocado delivery crew is always unbelievably polite and friendly. I also love Ocado Zoom which is being trialled in my neighbourhood and deliveries groceries in less than one hour. For a mom with two kids, that is life-changing! Getting nappies and milk delivered to my house on a rainy Sunday evening means I can spend time with my family and not worry about the week ahead.

Claire Tanner - Finance Director
Claire Tanner

Finance Director

Hi, I’m Claire, as Finance Director, my job is to lead the finance team in providing financial insight and control, ensuring we pay our suppliers and business partner our stakeholders.  My Ocado adventure started in December 2017 (I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join a business that was fast-paced; full of opportunities and great people!) 

Life before Ocado: I started my career as part of the Woolworths Group at Entertainment UK (where I qualified as an accountant.) I then worked for Burtons Biscuits in the Commercial Finance team, working with retailers, negotiating joint business plans, building brands and developing new products. I progressed to Commercial Finance Director, leading the separation of the Mondelēz business, negotiating and signing the deal with Mars, leading the international expansion and developing the Commercial Finance team. I completed an LLB(Hons) in Business Law from Brunel University and then went on to qualify as a Management Accountant.

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: Watching my son excitedly wait at the door to see what colour van will arrive (and greeting the very friendly driver who always takes the shopping into the kitchen.)

Richard Locke - Operations Director
Richard Locke

Operations Director

Hi, I’m Richard. I’m responsible for the delivery of the services provided by Ocado Logistics (part of Ocado Group). My Ocado adventure started in 2011 when I helped to launch the General Merchandise division. Over the years I have held a variety of roles in General Merchandise, ending up on Ocado Group’s Management Committee as the Director of General Merchandise.

Life before Ocado: I was a Consultant with Oliver Wyman, working mostly on Retail and Rail. Before that, I took Engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: The breadth of range, and how forgiving Ocado is with my lack of forward planning! With gluten and dairy intolerance in my family, the breadth of products that cater to our needs is fantastic. I can realise I only have enough food in the fridge for one more meal and have a full shop arrive less than 12 hours later. This has saved my children from freezer tapas on many, many occasions.

Rose Price - Buying Director
Rose Price

Buying Director

Hi, I’m Rose. I’m responsible for buying, Ocado own-label, product development and food tech. My Ocado adventure started in 2010 when I joined as Head of Buying. I have vast experience in the food industry, encompassing food retailing, cash and carry and supply chain, and I have an industry reputation for my knowledge from ‘farm gate to plate’. I can definitely say I understand the former really well, as I am married to a farmer; as a result, breakfast conversations in our house can be particularly interesting and intense, especially when prices are falling!

Life before Ocado: I started out in the meat industry back when it was very much a man’s world. I then moved into the grocery sector, starting as a store trainee, then moved on to be in charge of procurement for a large food manufacturer. I then moved to Safeway as a Trading Controller for Protein. My passion to work abroad me took me to France for a two year stint at Metro’s training academy (I can still order the essentials in French: wine and coffee!), then to Somerfield as Head of Buying. Next, I moved into online as Buying Director for Abel & Cole which gave me the taste for eCommerce. I hold an MBA from the University of Stirling.

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: being able to order fresh flowers.

Thomas Thomaidis - Marketing Director
Thomas Thomaidis

Marketing Director

Hi, I’m Thomas. I’m responsible for marketing and insight for Ocado Retail. My Ocado ride started in 2010 when I took on solutions development and analytics for our Trading team. I became Head of Marketing and Grocery Insight in 2013, with responsibility for setting our marketing direction and leading insight across our grocery business. Nine years after joining, I still find that I’m constantly learning new things, and love thinking about how to serve customers with smart and respectful communications.

Life before Ocado: I have a degree in Engineering from Cambridge and a Masters in Operational Research from UC Berkeley. I’ve worked in retail analytics and marketing for most of my career, including a stretch at the company that ran Nectar points.

Favourite thing about shopping at Ocado: Stockyard Kansas City Barbecue Sauce – it’s not a sauce, it’s an adventure!