Marks and Spencer has announced it is adding two new roles to the retail, operations and property leadership team as part of its transformation programme.

Will Smith joins the retailer as property director from Asda where he served as vice president of real estate, facilities and market development. In his new role, Smith will look after the whole of Marks and Spencer’s property function including asset and estate management, acquisitions and disposals, construction delivery, and health and safety.

While Helen Milford will be joining as retail director from JS Argos, where she has been serving as director of retail on the management board. Prior to this, she held several roles across retailers including Boots and Asda.

Milford has been tasked with leading the retailer’s 70,000 store colleagues, as well as managing four heads of division, Laura Mitchell (North) and Ken Sculley (Ireland), who were recently joined by Alex Hanson (Central, from Arcadia) and Mark Henry (South, from Lidl).

Both Smith and Milford will report into Sacha Berendji, Marks and Spencer’s retail, operations and property director.

Commenting on the new appointments, Berendji, said in a statement: “Building a store estate that’s fit for the future with industry-leading store operations and empowered colleagues is a key part of our transformation programme. We’re therefore adding two new roles to the retail, operations and property leadership team with Will Smith joining us as our property director and Helen Milford joining as retail director.

“Will Smith’s experience spans property, strategy and general management and he will drive forward our plans to create a store estate fit for the future. He will have accountability for every aspect of our property function including our newly formed asset management team and extensive property portfolio. Helen has an outstanding track record and she will be supported by two new Heads of Division with the right breadth and depth of experience to deliver our mission to be the best retail operator with the most engaged and empowered colleagues in UK retail.”

Berendji, added: “We are building a world-class team across M&S and I’m delighted to welcome Helen and Will to the business as we drive our transformation forward at scale and at pace.”

They both join Helen Milford, who was confirmed as Marks and Spencer’s new head of merchandising for womenswear earlier this month.


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