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M&S overhauls fashion and home leadership team in a bid to be more relevant

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Marks & Spencer has unveiled a new clothing and home leadership team that will be responsible for overhauling the retailer’s non-food division as part of its transformation plan.

Marks & Spencer said that the menswear & kidswear director, Michael Kerr, and the womenswear and lingerie design director, Queralt Ferrer, would also be stepping down from the group.

The moves follow the appointment in October of Jill McDonald reporting to chief executive Steve Rowe. McDonald has been tasked with delivering the sustained sales and profit growth that has eluded Britain’s biggest clothing retailer for a decade.

She has decided to merge the retailer’s womenswear and kidswear teams in a move to attract more families to M&S, appointing Jill Stanton to the new role of womenswear and kidswear director.

Belinda Earl, who has most recently been covering womenswear on an interim basis since Jo Jenkins left earlier this year, is stepping away from her commercial role with the retailer but will continue to work in an advisory role and sit on the board of the M&S Archive.

She will hand over her womenswear responsibilities to Stanton over the summer.

Stanton, formerly of Next, Dewhirst, Nike and most recently Old Navy, will start in July.

M&S also named Wes Taylor, Burton’s managing director for 11 years, as its new menswear director, starting in May.

He has over 30 years’ experience in fashion retailing, having progressed through Arcadia to lead the Burton business as managing director for 11 years.

Working alongside Stanton and Taylor will be Laura Charles and Neil Harrison.

Charles has been a key member of the team driving M&S’s lingerie position since 2014, and is promoted to the new position of lingerie director.

Meanwhile, Harrison – who has 20 years of M&S experience – is currently driving the strategy for growth as home director and will pick up additional responsibility for beauty.

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