High street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has appointed a new Brand Director and a new Trading Director, with one poached from industry rival John Lewis.
Rob Weston is leaving his position as Head of Strategy & International Development at John Lewis to head up M&S’s food branding, whilst ex-Mars manager Damian Guha will become the new Trading Director for Home.
Weston will report to Executive Director of Marketing Steven Sharp, taking up a newly created role announced by CEO Marc Bolland in November as part of his “evolution not revolution” initiative.
The Cambridge graduate, who completed his MBA at Stanford and worked for both McKinsy and Unilever before joining John Lewis, will be tasked with introducing new sub-brands and redefining the M&S food strategy.
Guha is an Oxford graduate, was trained through the Mars graduate scheme, held the position of General Manager for the company’s Czech Republic & Slovakian operations and was recently named as the new Marketing Director for Mars Petcare UK.
Starting in August he will report to Kate Bostock, Executive Director for General Merchandise at M&S, filling a position long left vacant.
Both appointments were made by Executive Search firm Hunter-Miller which is also helping M&S look for a new Brand Director for General Merchandise and whilst no appointment has been made for this position yet, one is expected in the next week.
Bolland’s strategic plans include increasing trade in home products, which currently represent around 20 per cent of all M&S sales, and expanding stores so that 95 per cent of the UK population is within a 30-minute drive of one of the retailer’s stores.
Commenting on Bolland’s plans in November, Consulting Director for Verdict Research Neil Saunders, said: “If Marc Bolland can build the vision he has set out today, he will firmly put the spark back into Marks.”