The Glasgow-based company has recruited Rodney Hunt to be a non-executive director following a 26-year career with the Nisa Today's group wholesale buying business.
Managing director Asim Sarwar said Mr Hunt would help fill the gap left at United Wholesale when his father, Mohammad Sarwar, became Governor of Punjab province in Pakistan earlier this year.
The former MP's move meant the family-owned business had "lost its father figure", said Mr Sarwar.
Noting that Mr Hunt had a long association with his family, Mr Sarwar said the businessman would bring an understanding of its values as well as his "customary enthusiasm" to the board.
"We welcome him and look forward to drawing on his wealth of commercial experience." said Mr Sarwar. "His insight and skills will be a valuable addition as we focus on our future development."
United Wholesale aims to become Scotland's biggest wholesaler after achieving rapid growth amid challenging economic conditions.
The company increased turnover by 10% in 2012, to £202 million, from £184m in the preceding year. Pre-tax profits increased by 23%, to £2.06m, from £1.68m.
The company operates cash and carry depots used by independent retailers and supplies goods to more than 200 outlets that operate under the Day Today fascia.
Mr Hunt started in the grocery trade with Nurdin & Peacock in the early 1970s in Bristol.
His long career at Nisa Today's included 22 years as managing director and four as non-executive chairman.
He stepped down in April.