UK retailer Marks & Spencer has appointed Stuart Machin, the current group CEO of Steinhoff UK, as the new managing director of its food business.
Machin is set to join M&S in late April, replacing Andy Adcock. He will report to CEO Steve Rowe, and work alongside newly-appointed Clothing & Home managing director Jill McDonald.
“We face challenges in our food business and we have lots to do to change, fast," said Rowe, commenting on Machin's appointment.
"Stuart is an excellent addition to our team. He gets food retailing and he has first class experience of driving change in big food retailers. At M&S we need to sharpen our prices, improve our products, drive profitability and grow market share – Stuart is the right leader to get on and deliver these changes.”
The Steinhoff exec has over 30 years experience in the retail sector in the UK and Australia.
Prior to his current position, Machin was CEO of Target Australia, having previously been COO of Coles Supermarket Australia. In the UK, he has held a number of positions in Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's.
The new appointment comes as part of a business-wide overhaul at M&S, as the retail company continues its five-year transformation plan, which was launched last November.
The retailer has already introduced a number of cost-cutting measures, such as the closure of a number of food stores, the sale of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau, the introduction of a new IT programme, and an overhaul of its marketing team.
Since Rowe became CEO in April 2016, M&S has also brought about a number of changes in its operational and leadership structure.
The retailer's Food and Clothing & Home businesses have been established as two separately-managed units, the latter lead by Jill McDonald, who joined M&S from Halfords last October.
In the last year there have been a number of other senior leadership changes – Mel Smith was appointed strategy director, Victoria Self as digital director, and Sharry Cramond as food marketing director.
Most recently, Humphrey Singer was named as the group's new chief finance officer at the start of the year, and is set to join M&S from Dixons Carphone in July.
M&S will now be looking to end its financial year on a high, after posting a relatively disappointing performance during its third quarter.
Although most of the UK’s food retailers saw positive growth over the Christmas period, M&S experienced a mixed trading period, with food sales down by 0.4% and clothing and home sales down by 2.8%.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.