M&S multichannel boss Laura Wade-Gery departs

Wade-Gery joined from Tesco five years ago to help M&S overhaul its ecommerce and digital operations.

Marks and Spencer's

Marks & Spencer’s multichannel boss Laura Wade-Gery is leaving the retailer just over five years after she was poached from Tesco to run its ecommerce and digital operations.

M&S says it has agreed with Wade-Gery that, following her maternity leave, she will not be returning to her position as executive director of multichannel. She will therefore leave at the end of September and step down from the board immediately.

Wade-Gery went on maternity leave last August. It was initially due to last until “early January” but was later extended to 31 August. CFO Helen Weir had taken on her responsibilities in the interim and M&S says this set-up will continue with no plans for any further changes to the exec team.

Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, says: “Laura has been a great colleague and has achieved much in her role heading our multichannel business.  I am grateful to Laura for her contribution and she leaves M&S with my personal thanks and best wishes.”

In her time at M&S Wade-Gery oversaw the relaunch of M&S.com, positioning it as a content hub as much as an ecommerce platform. However, the redesign initially ran into issues as consumers seemingly struggled to navigate the site and M&S’s ecommerce sales subsequently fell.

Prior to M&S, Wade-Gery worked at Tesco for almost 14 years in a range of ecommerce roles, including heading up Tesco.com. She previously worked as a consultant. Her future plans are not known.

Changes at Waitrose too

And in separate news, Waitrose has promoted its marketing director Rupert Thomas to commercial director. He will take over in January 2017 when Watirose’s current commercial boss Mark Williamson retires. Waitrose will announce a replacement for Thomas “at a later date”.

Rob Collins, Waitrose managing director, says: “Rupert, our very successful marketing director, also has strong commercial experience. He joined Waitrose in 2003 having spent over 10 years in various commercial and marketing roles; his first job with us was heading our grocery and fruit buying teams. He is the ideal candidate to pick up the baton from Mark and I wish them both well for the future.”

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