Jill McDonald departs M&S after less than two years

CEO Steve Rowe to take over clothing and home division from former McDonald's marketer.

McDonald: promoted from marketing role to UK CEO of McDonald's
McDonald: promoted from marketing role to UK CEO of McDonald's

Jill McDonald is leaving Marks & Spencer, where she has been managing director of clothing and home for less than two years.

McDonald is a former British Airways and McDonald’s marketer who rose to become the fast-food chain’s UK chief executive and later moved to the same role at Halfords. She started at M&S in autumn 2017 after the retailer recruited her to turn around its struggling non-food offering.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said she left "with my thanks and good wishes for the future", but added that he was taking personal charge of the division "to address long-standing issues in our clothing and home supply chain around availability and flow of product".

During McDonald’s tenure, M&S decided to separate its advertising account into food, for which it retained Grey London, and clothing and home, to which it appointed specialist fashion agency ODD in March.

"She has recruited a talented team, improved the quality and style of product, and set a clear direction for the business to attract a younger family-age customer," Rowe said.