WH Smith chief executive poaches Argos marketer

WH Smith’s new chief executive Kate Swann has picked a former Argos colleague to be the new marketing director for the high street book, magazine, stationery and music retailer.

Argos head of product marketing Stephen Clarke is to join his former boss Swann as marketing director for WH Smith UK Retail. Swann was managing director at Argos before joining WH Smith .

Clarke will report to commercial director Sue Wharton. She says: “He has an outstanding track record and I believe that his experience, drive and ambition can really help to deliver the future shape of WH Smith UK Retail’s marketing strategy.”

A start date has yet to be fixed for Clarke, who is expected to join no later than September.

Stephen Robertson will continue to lead the marketing department for WH Smith UK Retail and steer the media and ad agency reviews and trading initiatives (MW February 26).

The marketing director role was created earlier this year, following a restructure by Swann and the departure of brand director Muriel Stirling (MW January 15).

Brand communications director Katie Spriggs, who joined the retailer last year, will report to Clarke on his arrival.

WH Smith has shortlisted Clemmow Hornby Inge, Delaney Lund Knox Warren, DDB London, Euro RSCG London, J Walter Thompson and WCRS for its creative account, held by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO, which has declined to repitch for the business. Walker Media, Universal McCann, MediaCom, Carat and incumbent Starcom Motive are pitching for the media buying account.

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