M&S shakes up management team as sales fall

Marks & Spencer is to part company with executive director of general merchandise Kate Bostock and has hired a style director and strategy director, as it posted a 0.7% loss in first-quarter group sales.

M&S: Kate Bostock is leaving the retailer to be replaced by John Dixon
M&S: Kate Bostock is leaving the retailer to be replaced by John Dixon

Bostock is leaving M&S after eight years "by mutual consent", to pursue other interests, effective 1 October.

She will be replaced by John Dixon, who has been with the company for 26 years, and is currently the executive director of food. Dixon will report directly to chief executive Marc Bolland.

Two new positions have been created as part of the changes by Bolland. Belinda Earl, previously the chief executive of Debenhams, Jaeger and Aquascutum, will take up the position of style director on 1 September, reporting to Dixon and working two to three days a week.

In addition, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, the former group president of The Estée Lauder Companies, will take on the new role of corporate director of strategy implementation and business development from 1 September.

Earl's role will involve her spending two to three days each week focusing on product, while Bousquet-Chavanne will be developing strategic initiatives and new concepts across the company.

Dixon's position will be filled by Steve Rowe, currently director of retail.

M&S today (10 July) posted a 0.7% loss in group sales for the 13 weeks to 30 June 2012, with a 0.9% drop in total UK sales and 2.8% drop in like-for-like UK sales.

M&S launched its own "relaxed and modern" bank branches last month, as it moves to leverage the trust in its brand to offer services such as mortgages and current accounts.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @loullamae_es

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