Mel Smith CBE, former CEO of Ocado Retail, named the 50th Bold Award winner
Mel Smith impressed the Bold Award judges with her inspired stewardship of Ocado Retail, which under her leadership became the UK’s fastest-growing grocery retailer. She recently stepped down as CEO after spending three years at the company’s helm, having overseen the initial setup of the joint venture between Ocado and Marks & Spencer. Moving from a partnership with Waitrose to a joint venture with M&S, Mel led the largest change in range of any UK retailer, with Ocado switching out over 10% of its product range overnight. Judges praised her tremendous vision for the firm, which resulted in Ocado increasing its market share by over 40%, as well as her leadership during the COVID-19 crisis, when she personally directed the firm’s strategy to keep the UK fed during the early phases of the pandemic.
“I am thrilled to have been awarded the prestigious Bold Woman Award, an achievement I dedicate to the women and men who have provided support, guidance and allyship throughout my career. I believe in the power of curiosity, bringing my best self, and daring greatly. I hope that resonates and inspires the next generation of female and indigenous leaders in retail and beyond.”