// Top exec from Mars Food, Fiona Dawson, appointed to M&S board as non-executive director
// She will also join the M&S nominations committee
Marks & Spencer has announced the appointment of Fiona Dawson to the board as a non-executive director, effective from May 25.
Dawson is currently global president at FMCG giant Mars Food, where she first started her career as part of its graduate trainee scheme before climbing the ranks to her current position.
Her leadership roles at Mars have included global retail president, Mars UK general manager, and UK and European marketing vice president.
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At M&S, Dawson will join the nominations committee at the same time as joining the board.
The high street stalwart cited Dawson’s “strong track record” in sustainability, health and wellbeing, women’s entrepreneurship, and human rights.
Dawson’s appointment to the M&S board also comes on the back of her track record of business turnarounds, coupled with the retailer’s push to become more grocery and food-focused – especially online through its partnership with Ocado – as part of a wider transformation scheme.
“We operate a highly engaged board committed to the transformation of M&S, one of the UK’s most loved brands, and Fiona is another very strong addition to our team,” M&S chairman Archie Norman said.
“She comes from the Mars school of management and the culture and commercial dynamism that goes with that.
“She has turned around businesses, run and built factories and understands what is required to drive change.
“As a former president of the IGD, and through leading a major supplier, she knows the UK and global food retail industry better than anyone.
“She has operated at the cutting edge of consumer marketing and her background is in growing iconic, heritage brands.
“As a business leader Fiona has been a trail blazer as the first ever female general manager at Mars UK, helping steer not just Mars but also the broader food industry through challenging health and regulatory issues.
“Fiona has epitomised the Mars’ culture of driving growth with a strong moral compass.
“Her focus on coupling societal change with performance, underpinned by a strong corporate culture, make her a superb fit for Marks & Spencer.”
Dawson’s appointment follows on former Bupa chief executive Evelyn Bourke joining M&S as non-executive director earlier this year.