M&S Womenswear Head Departure Adds to Executive Flux
Marks & Spencer said the head of its key womenswear division has left, only three weeks after the UK retailer’s food head was brought in to run the entire clothing operation.
Frances Russell’s departure follows the promotion of former Next executive Jo Jenkins, who will add the womenswear remit to her existing role as director of lingerie and beauty, Marks & Spencer said in a statement Wednesday.
The exit adds to a period of management flux at London-based Marks & Spencer, which is struggling to stem years of falling fashion sales as younger shoppers switch to UK competitors such as Next and budget retailer Primark. General- merchandise boss John Dixon stepped down from his role last month and has been replaced by Steve Rowe.
Russell joined Marks & Spencer in 2008 and had held the position of womenswear head since late 2012. Her departure was first reported late Tuesday by the Financial Times.
Marks & Spencer’s declining clothing revenue has heaped pressure on Chief Executive Officer Marc Bolland, with six per cent of shareholders opposing his re-election at last month’s annual general meeting. Last year, sales at M&S’s general-merchandise unit fell 2.5 per cent.
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