M&S promotes marketing boss as it looks to put the customer ‘at the heart of everything’

Marks & Spencer has promoted its marketing chief Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne and set up a new operating board tasked with “fixing” its general merchandise business as it looks to put the customer “at the heart of everything we do”.

Bousquet-Chavanne was previously executive director of marketing and international but has now been given the title of executive director of customer, marketing and M&S.com. The changes will see him take on responsibility for the M&S website and its Plan A sustainability programme. The international business will now report directly into CEO Steve Rowe while CFO Helen Weir will assume responsibility for strategy implementation.

The move comes as M&S looks to more closely align the marketing, sustainability and digital aspects of its business. Laura Wade-Gery, who is on maternity leave until September, previously headed up the M&S.com business in her role as executive director of multichannel.

M&S says it will “update on her responsibilities” on her return.

Alongside the management shake-up, M&S is also establishing a new operating committee that will be accountable for the day-to-day running of the business as well as for development and execution of its strategy. The first priority, says Rowe, is to “fix” its clothing and home offer.

Read more: New M&S boss Rowe says Sparks card will ‘improve marketing’ as its fashion sales fall once again

M&S’s general merchandise division, which includes clothing and home, has seen sales fall for 18 of the past 19 quarters despite huge investment in improving particularly its women’s clothing. Just this week, M&S unveiled its new autumn collection which, unlike previous ranges, will be available for customers to buy as soon as its on the catwalk.

The food business, on the other hand, continues to shine.

“On my first day as CEO, I committed to putting M&S customers at the heart of everything we do.”

Steve Rowe, CEO, M&S

“These changes reflect this; a simpler management structure with a smaller, more focused team running M&S will lead to more efficient decision-making and move us closer to our customers.”

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