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UK supermarket Ocado says Haythornthwaite to step down as chair next year

An Ocado grocery delivery van is driven along a street in London

(Reuters) -British online supermarket Ocado said on Thursday Chairman Rick Haythornthwaite will step down next year due to his "increasing commitment" at banking group NatWest.

"Since the announcement of my appointment as group chair of NatWest I have given extensive thought to my workload ... it has become evident that pressure on my time is likely to increase over the medium term," Haythornthwaite said in a statement.

Haythornthwaite, who joined as Ocado chair in 2021 and will not stand for re-election at the firm's annual general meeting in April 2025, said he's made public his intention to step down a year in advance to give Ocado enough time to find his successor.

The 67-year-old British national will take on his new role at NatWest this month, as the British bank seeks to contain the fallout from a row with former Brexit party leader Nigel Farage.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)