Woolworths starts hunt for marketing director

Woolworths is looking for a new marketing director following a sideways move by marketing chief Octavia Morley, who is taking up a more commercial role.

The retailer has called in head-hunters to find a replacement for Morley, who is moving to become commercial director for home, clothing and entertainment, with responsibility for buying and merchandising from next week. The marketing director’s position will remain board-level, and Morley’s successor will report to chief executive Trevor Bish-Jones.

Morley’s move follows disappointing trading figures for the retailer over the crucial Christmas period, with like-for-like sales up only 0.8 per cent for the eight weeks to January 10.

As marketing director, Morley oversaw a repositioning of the retailer around children and celebrations, moved the £25m advertising account out of Bates and into Bartle Bogle Hegarty (MW April 17, 2003) and brought in Mark Trinder as head of brand communications.

A spokeswoman for Woolworths says: “Octavia wanted a more commercial role. She’s a valued member of the management team.”

Her responsibility for the global brand licensing of the Ladybird brand passed to head of communications Nicole Lander four months ago.

Morley was made marketing chief in 2001, after a stint as head of clothing at the retailer. She joined the company in 2000 from Asda, where she had been managing director for home shopping. She has also worked at Laura Ashley as buying and merchandising director.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here