Mars chief quits for top MFI role

Mark Horgan, who joined Mars only three months ago to handle Europe-wide marketing of its Mars Bar brand, has quit to join struggling furniture retailer MFI.

Horgan joins the retailer in the new role of group marketing director. His appointment is part of MFI chief executive John Hancock’s plans to overhaul the flagging brand.

Horgan will report directly to Hancock on a new-look board, which also includes ex-Safeway human resources director Gordon MacDonald as group services director, and former Rhone-Poulenc Rorer finance director Michael Williamson, who becomes group finance director.

MFI’s previous head of marketing Jon Rosby remains marketing and merchandising director, but he will report to Horgan.

Horgan returned to Mars Snack Foods Europe only three months ago, as franchise manager with responsibility for the Mars countline brand in Europe. Before that, he spent three years at United Biscuits.

Prior to joining UB, Horgan had worked for Mars as European franchise manager on the M&M’s brand.

Hancock has already cleared out MFI’s board of directors and has overhauled its store-based distribution chain in an attempt to boost sales following a drop in profits from &£70m to just &£17.2m in three years.

It is not known if the changes will affect MFI’s advertising arrangements. The creative account, which was worth &£29m last year (ACNielsen-MEAL), is handled by Publicis. Optimedia is in charge of media.

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