Marks & Spencer Grp

Directorate Change

RNS Number : 2877H
Marks & Spencer Group PLC
10 July 2012

 Issued: 10 July 2012






Marks and Spencer Group plc ("M&S") today announces the following changes to its Board and senior management team:


John Dixon* will be appointed Executive Director General Merchandise from 1st October 2012.  John has been with the company for 26 years and has a strong track record in a variety of roles, most recently Executive Director of Food and previously Director for Home and Direct.


Belinda Earl will be appointed Style Director from 1st September 2012 reporting to John.  In this new role Belinda will focus on product for 2 to 3 days a week.  Belinda, ex-CEO of Debenhams, Jaeger and Aquascutum, has a unique insight into British style and a wealth of experience across all categories of clothing and general merchandise.


Kate Bostock Executive Director General Merchandise, will be leaving Marks & Spencer by mutual consent to pursue other interests.  Kate will step down from the Board and leave M&S on 1st October 2012.


Steve Rowe* currently Director of Retail, will be appointed Executive Director Food and will join the Board from 1st October 2012.  Steve has been with M&S for 23 years and is a proven retailer.  Currently Director for Retail, Steve heads all the GM and Food stores across the UK and Republic of Ireland.


Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne* will join the company from 1st September 2012 in the new role of Corporate Director of Strategy Implementation and Business Development.  Patrick was previously a Group President at The Estée Lauder Companies. Most recently Patrick has been advising the M&S team to develop the new M&S YourBeauty concept.  In joining M&S Patrick will be developing strategic initiatives and new concepts across the company.


*Role reports directly to Marc Bolland, Chief Executive.


Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said:

"John has done an outstanding job in running the food division over the past 4 years.  He has delivered consistent growth through meeting our customer's desire for quality and innovation.  He is the right person to take over the running of our General Merchandise division.  He will be working closely in his new role with Belinda. She is a highly experienced retailer and her product knowledge and judgement will complement John's expertise.  We are delighted that she has chosen to join us in this new role. 


"Steve Rowe has been with the company for 23 years and has demonstrated his qualities as a proven retailer across a number of our departments.  He is ideally suited to take on the task of continuing to grow our food business and I look forward to working closely with him.     


"We are determined to expand and improve the range of products we offer our customers in areas such as beauty.  Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne's expertise is bringing new concepts and products for women to market globally. He has been working with us to develop our new Beauty range and we look forward to him bringing his experience to bear across a wide range of new products and initiatives.


"I am confident that this strengthened team of internal and external best-in-class experts will blend well together to deliver our strategy of building M&S into a leading international multi-channel retailer.

"I would like to thank Kate for the significant contribution she has made to the company.  We are both agreed that this is the right time for her to be moving on from Marks and Spencer and we wish her every success in the future."


Robert Swannell, Chairman, said:

"The appointments announced today are part of our continuing programme to strengthen and broaden the range of skills and expertise that we have within our business.  They combine the continuing development of some of our most talented people as well the addition of fresh expertise from outside. On behalf of all my Board colleagues I am delighted to be welcoming Steve Rowe to the Board and to express our appreciation for the significant contribution that Kate has made."  


- Ends -

For further information, please contact:

Investor Relations:     

Majda Rainer               +44 (0)20 8718 1563

Richard Harris +44 (0)20 8718 9688


Corporate Press Office:         +44 (0)20 8718 1919

Out of hours calls:                  +44 (0)20 8718 2000





John Dixon:

Joined Marks & Spencer in 1986 and was appointed to the Board in September 2009. John brings a unique experience of M&S to the Board as a result of his long history with the Company. He joined as a store management trainee and has worked in a variety of senior roles across the business, including internationally-based retail roles, Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Director of Multi-channel E-commerce and Home. John was appointed Director of Food in July 2008 and has been instrumental in driving and improving the Food business.


Belinda Earl:

Belinda started her career as a graduate trainee at Harrods.  In 1985 she took up a merchandising role at Debenhams progressing through the business to Buying and Merchandising Director for Lingerie, Accessories and Childrenswear, then to Buying and Merchandising Director for Womenswear before being appointed Trading Director in 1997.  She took her seat on the Debenhams board in 1999.  In 2000 Belinda became CEO and led the business until 2003.  Most recently Belinda was the CEO of Jaeger and Aquascutum stepping down from this role earlier this year.


Steve Rowe:

Steve joined Marks & Spencer in 1989 and held a variety of positions in store management, having previously worked at Topshop as a store manager. He joined Head Office in 1992 as a Merchandiser for Menswear, working in all areas of the Group. In 1998 he was promoted to Category Manager in the Furniture Department. During 2001 Steve led the team developing the Home Growth Strategy and subsequently became Head of Home categories in 2003. He was promoted to the Director of Home a year later, in 2004. Between 2004 and 2008 Steve also assumed responsibility for Beauty and New Business Development. He was appointed Director of Retail in March 2008, responsible for our UK and Irish GM and Food stores and our Franchise food business and became a member of the Management Committee. Steve is also a Strategic Director of the New West End Company.


Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne:

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne's international career in the branded consumer goods industry spans more than 25 years, with 15 of these in senior global brand management positions based in London, Paris and New York.  Bousquet-Chavanne joined Estée Lauder in 1989 as Vice President and General Manager, Aramis International, he consequently run Lauder's Travel Retailing business worldwide. From 1998 to 2008 Bousquet-Chavanne was a member of Lauder's Executive Committee, where he served as President of International, directing the expansion of all Estée Lauder Companies Brands in over 130 countries.  He was a Group President of the Estée Lauder Companies from 2001 to 2008, where he oversaw some of the company's largest brands.  In 2008, he stepped down from the Estée Lauder Companies to pursue private equity investment opportunities in the Internet and new technology fields. Bousquet-Chavanne is a member of the Board at Brown-Forman Inc (NYSE:BFB) and HSN Inc (Nasdaq:HSNI).



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