M&S promotes 2 execs to co-COO amid leadership reshuffle

M&S promotes 2 execs to co-COO amid leadership reshuffle
Richard Price and Paul Friston remain as managing directors of M&S's clothing & home and international arms, respectively. (Image: Aaron Chown/PA Wires)
// M&S realigns exec board as it moves on to the 2nd phase of its transformation programme
// Katie Bickerstaffe & Stuart Machin both promoted to co-COO
// Eoin Tonge takes on strategy & transformation planning as part of his remit as CFO; Sacha Berendji moves to focus on “Future Stores”

Marks & Spencer has announced a major reshuffle of its senior executive leadership team as it moves on to the second phase of a three-part business transformation scheme.

Current chief strategy and transformation director Katie Bickerstaffe and M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin have both been promoted to co-chief operating officers.

M&S said Machin would continue as managing director of its food arm, but also take oversight responsibility for operations, property, store development and IT.


Bickerstaffe will give oversight to M&S’s data, services, clothing & home and international businesses.

Meanwhile, Eoin Tonge will take on strategy and transformation planning as part of his remit as chief financial officer.

Sacha Berendji will move from his current retail, operations and property director role to focus on “Future Stores” and accelerate the development of M&S’s 10X digital stores, store renewal, store rotation and IT.

Richard Price and Paul Friston remain as managing directors of M&S’s clothing & home and international arms, respectively.

M&S added that its executive committee could continue to operate as the business’s central decision-making body and its membership is unchanged.

The announcements come three years after M&S chief executive Steve Rowe set out the need to “face the facts” about the challenges facing the retailer through a three-phase transformation programme.

The first phase was known as “Fixing the Basics”, which featured a raft of changes – such as closing down some clothing & home stores and shifting its focus to digital investment and food.

M&S said the realignment of the executive team meant the business was moving on the next phase “to reinvest in the brand and restore growth”.

“Over the last three years we have built a great team of people at M&S and covered a lot of ground,” M&S group chief executive Steve Rowe said.

“Now we need to move into the next phase, and that means accelerating the pace of change, and Stuart and Katie will bring even more impetus to our core businesses.

“With that I will, with Eoin’s support, be better able to concentrate on building the M&S of the future and our path to growth.”

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  1. I doubt the value of Co-COO to this business, too many chiefs etc. I also wonder what the Group Chief Executive does? Or are these appointments cover for anything when the master plan goes wrong?

  2. M and S have shut stores in places where they made money and allowing those stores to lounge with their appointed agents Mcumullen Retail as sub leases that no one wants.

    All they had to do in some locations was strip out the asbestos and make food hall only. Was not that hard. I can think of Deal being a prime example and Spalding as well and Gerrard’s Cross.

    They have lost a huge amount of custom in Deal even in Folkestone which they vacated 15 years ago.

    Deal there are plans for a new out of town store with Quinn Estates for food only as part of a 1000 home development over 5 years but these out of town stores are not accessible to old people that don’t drive and where buses are not provided. There clothing is dire, there homeware is dire and the food is also going the same way .


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