Business

New M&S boss shakes up top team

Steve Rowe Image copyright PA

The new boss of Marks and Spencer has restructured his senior team, in a move that has also resulted in the departure of five executives.

The roles are being re-jigged in a wider reshuffle which will also see the creation of a new operating committee.

Chief executive Steve Rowe said he was creating a simpler management structure that would move the company closer to its customers.

He took over last month and is clearly wasting no time reshaping his top team.

Among those leaving are the head of kidswear and home director, Stephanie Chen; store environment and product presentation director Florence De Boosere; and M&S's digital director, David Walmsley.

More efficient

The new operating committee will be accountable for the day-to-day running of the business, as well as for the development and execution of strategy.

The company has also reduced the number of executive director roles from six to four in a shake-up of board responsibilities.

"On my first day as CEO, I committed to putting M&S customers at the heart of everything we do," said Mr Rowe.

"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.

"The new operating committee will be working together to improve M&S, starting with fixing our clothing and home offer for our customers, our employees and our shareholders."

Ms Chen was hired by former boss Marc Bolland three years ago from House of Fraser as part of a reshuffle to help revive its flagging general merchandise division.

David Walmsley joined the business in 2011 after jumping ship from Dixons and had a key role in developing Marks and Spencer's new website.

Mr Rowe, an M&S veteran, succeeded Marc Bolland as chief executive. Later this month, he will outline his new strategy for Marks and Spencer when he presents the company's full-year results.

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