Reports say that an announcement regarding the appointment is expected later on today (29 April).
Bailey will now replace Rob Collins, who stepped down from the role following a group restructuring last year.
According to reports, Bailey will now serve as the de facto head of Waitrose, though he may not have a managing director title.
He was most recently grocery buying director at Sainsbury’s, where he spent 18 years at the chain. During his tenure he was reportedly responsible for £16bn of revenue.
Since leaving the supermarket giant last year, he has since acted as an adviser and non-executive director at several companies.
The partnership employs 80,000 workers, 52,000 of whom currently work at Waitrose, which operates from 340 sites across the UK.
According to the group’s trading update last week, demand at Waitrose has “risen sharply” amid the pandemic, though operating costs have also increased in light of online delivery expansion.
Nonetheless, the supermarket has seen a “strong” sales growth, up 8% year-on-year since 26 January.
In its full-year results, the partnership expects Waitrose to have only a “modest” sales decline of less than 5%.