White, who is set to take over from Tacon later this year, will carry out the role of deputy Groceries Code Adjudicator to allow for a handover of responsibilities.
Tacon was reappointed for a term of up to six months to provide continuity to the groceries sector through the coronavirus pandemic.
Wright currently serves as a non-executive chairman of Digital Reconnaissance Limited, a cyber protocol employee reference checking company. He is also member of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) and of the Lower Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) at HM Courts & Tribunal Service where he is responsible for hearing appeals against decisions from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Ministry of Justice in a range of financial services and claims management cases.
Prior to that he was the group general counsel, company secretary and executive board member at Compass Group.
At Compass Group, he was responsible for legal, governance, the annual report, compliance and insurance as well as the professional development of 140 lawyers the company.
He has also a worked as a solicitor at Eversheds Sutherland LLP.
Small business minister Paul Scully, who revealed the news today, said: “Mark White’s extensive experience will bring valuable insight to this important role, providing support to the groceries sector through these difficult times. I look forward to working with him to ensure a level playing field between grocers and suppliers.”
White said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to succeed Christine Tacon. I welcome the opportunity to build on Christine’s work and as GCA my objective will be to drive forward the progress that has been made to date.
“As the annual survey has shown, much has been achieved, but there is still more to be done and I welcome the government’s commitment in its response to the Statutory Review to work with me to help suppliers feel empowered to raise issues in confidence with the GCA and their retailers directly.”
He added that these “exceptional times” had demonstrated the importance of a constructive relationship between the retailers and their suppliers, as well as the Code’s resilience in shaping those relationships.
“I intend to build relationships across the sector - most importantly with the retailers, suppliers and trade bodies - while I carry out the role of deputy to Christine in the short term. In that way, I will be in a strong position to work on future issues as her successor and the UK’s second GCA,” he added.
What Clive Black at Shore Capital says:
“He has carved out what looks like a very successful career, having been Legal Counsel for Compass Group, a high quality business, with further law base activities since.
Hence, I sense that the industry will welcome someone who has worked within a commercial context and so is not just a product of the civil service and legal services production line.
The GCA is a strange body, something that could easily be an act in The Thick of It, as it is one that is, effectively, highly inactive and so arguably struggles to confidently identify relevance.
Whilst so, its mere presence serves as a force for good to SME food manufacturers, so helping to reduce today what in the past was, at times, reprehensible behaviour by some commercial folks at the supermarkets.
Like a good referee, Mr White maybe most effective if he is rarely seen but making clear from the start that everyone knows who is in charge...”