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Marks & Spencer clothing boss exits

By Huw Hughes


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Marks & Spencer has announced that its managing director of clothing and home, Jill McDonald, is exiting the retail giant after nearly two years in the role.

CEO Steve Rowe, who previously held McDonald’s position at the company, will be taking over from her in the near term.

McDonald was originally appointed to the position in May 2017 as the company began its turnaround plan. At the time, Rowe described her as “exactly the right person to lead this all-important part of our business from recovery in to growth.”

In the year to March 30, 2019, the company reported a 9.9 percent decline in profit before tax & adjusting items to 523.2 million pounds (663 million dollars), driven by headwinds on sales, partly offset by its operating costs transformation programme. Its UK clothing and home revenue was down 3.6 percent.

Commenting on McDonald’s departure in a statement, Rowe said: “Jill was brought in to establish a strong platform for the transformation of the clothing and home business. She has achieved that; she leaves with my thanks and good wishes for the future. She has recruited a talented team, improved the quality and style of product and set a clear direction for the business to attract a younger family age customer.”

Rowe continued: “The business now needs to move on at pace to address long-standing issues in our clothing and home supply chain around availability and flow of product. Given the importance of this task to M&S I will be overseeing this programme directly.”

Photo: Jill McDonald, courtesy of Marks & Spencer

jill mcdonald
Marks and Spencer
Marks & Spencer
Steve Rowe