Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today confirmed that Miranda Curtis will join the retailer on a non-executive director basis from February next year.
The high street mainstay is currently undertaking a strategy of global expansion, and Curtis’s vast experience of working with international consumer businesses will provide support for these ambitious plans.
During a 20-year career with TV and entertainment distribution businesses Liberty Media and Liberty Global, M&S’s new recruit helped develop operations in cable, telephony and broadband across Europe and Asia.
And as President of Liberty Global Japan, Curtis played a leading role in the creation and sale of telecoms firm J:Com, which Liberty sold its stake in for approximately $4 billion (£2.5 billion) in 2010.
Explaining her new role at the British retail giant, Chairman of M&S Robert Swannell said: “In addition to her extensive experience of business and boards, Miranda will bring a valuable perspective of international consumer business and technology to our strategy, set out by CEO Marc Bolland in November 2010, to become an international multichannel retailer.”
In the 11 months since Bolland made that statement, M&S has moved quickly to prepare for expansion outside of the UK.
Jan Heere arrived from fashion retail group Inditex in February to take the role of Director of International, and soon afterwards M&S announced it would be opening both a bricks & mortar and online retail operation in France.
The Paris store is set to be unveiled at the end of November just in time for the traditionally busy Christmas period, and the retailer has also recently launched a number of new advertising campaigns with Hollywood stars in an attempt to get its brand recognised on an international scale.
Curtis, who holds non-exec roles at Liberty Global and coach travel firm National Express, will inevitably have a major say in the direction M&S’s global growth strategy unfolds when she arrives in 2012.
The newest member of the board will balance her role with her work as Chairman of bookseller Waterstone’s.