Former Loblaw and Canadian Tire executive Mark Foote has been named president and CEO of the Zellers chain of discount stores.

Hudson's Bay Co., the owner of Zellers, said Wednesday Foote will start as head of the chain next month.

Foote has been president and chief merchandising officer at Loblaw and served as president of Canadian Tire's retail division for five years.

"Mark's DNA is coded with tremendous Canadian retail experience," HBC chief executive Jeffrey Sherman said in a statement.

"Mark has first-hand experience working in almost every role within a large-scale retail organization. That depth of knowledge will be an asset to HBC as we move forward with our plan to drive top line growth at Zellers and re-energize the brand."

Sherman was announced as the new CEO for Hudson's Bay earlier this month amid plans to rework the 338-year-old company's operations from the bottom up. He has said he intends to focus on what the department store chain's customers want, rather than having the store try to be everything to everybody.

Earlier in July, the iconic department store chain announced it had been bought from the widow of former owner Jerry Zucker by New York-based NRDC Equity Partners, the owner of Lord & Taylor and other retail companies.

Zucker had started a behind-the-scenes reworking of some of the operations, particularly inventory management. But the new plan is intended to change the face of the Bay and Zellers in ways that will be more apparent to customers, making one a clear discount retailer and the other a higher-end shopping destination.