M&S appoint new managing director of their clothing and home division
Halfords' chief executive, Jill McDonald to take over in the autumn
by Abi Moses on 6th May, 2017
Halfords chief executive and former UK boss of McDonalds, Jill McDonald has been appointed as Marks and Spencer's new managing director for clothing home and beauty.
Ms McDonald will join the retailer in the autumn as they attempt to shore up their struggling clothing arm. Since his promotion last April, current M&S chief executive, Steve Rowe, has been in charge of the operation, but will hand over responsibility to Ms McDonald later this year.
After confirming Ms McDonald's appointment, Steve Rowe said, "I am pleased with the progress we have made in Clothing & Home over the last year and the time is now right for this appointment. Jill is an excellent addition to the M&S senior leadership team and we are delighted that she is joining us. Jill's first-class customer knowledge and great experience in running dynamic, high- achieving teams make her exactly the right person to lead this all-important part of our business from recovery in to growth."
The progress hinted at by the chief executive saw like-for-like sales in its clothing and home division rise 2.3% in the final thirteen weeks of 2016. The rise was the division's first since the first quarter of 2015. Mr Rowe warned that the rise did not indicate a return to sustained sales growth.
New M&S managing director, Jill McDonald said, "M&S has a unique, special relationship with its customers and I am very motivated by working closely with customers to drive and shape results.
The former Halfords chief executive continued by claiming, "I have long been an M&S customer and professional fan, so working with the brand was a career opportunity that I just couldn't turn down."
Shares on the London Stock Exchange dipped 1% immediately after the announcement, but a continued upturn in sales throughout 2017 is likely to see its market value rise again.
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