WH Smith axes boss in merger

UK retail giant forces Stephen Sinclair out after review recommends business/marketing merger

Stephen Sinclair, strategic marketing director of WH Smith’s retail division, has been forced out of the company following the merger of its marketing and business development departments.

His departure follows an internal review of the retailer’s business development and marketing departments which recommends they merge. The review was led by former business development director Andy King, who will take on marketing responsibilities as director of business development and marketing for the combined team.

Sinclair was appointed last August (MW September 2 1999) following a board reshuffle which saw the promotion of trading and marketing commercial director Don Sloan to vice-president of marketing for WH Smith’s 410-store travel chain in the US.

Sinclair’s appointment followed a brief six-month stint as strategic and marketing director at Whitecross Dental Care. Before this, he was at Boots for five years, most recently as director of marketing and merchandise at Boots Opticians.

A statement issued by the company says: “In order to achieve better integration of brand development and communication, WH Smith is to merge the business development and marketing functions.”

It adds: “WH Smith can confirm that Sinclair has left the company to explore further opportunities.”

The spokeswoman says the restructure will not affect the &£7.7m marketing budget (MMS). Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO handles WH Smith’s ad account.

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