Wednesday 16 January 2019

Clothing chief ditches M&S for White Stuff role

Jo Jenkins was appointed in May as director of clothing‎ and beauty, but has left to become chief executive of White Stuff.

MandS international franchises
MandS international franchises

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Marks & Spencer has been hit by the departure of a senior member of its troubled clothing division, just weeks after starting a new role at the retailer and ahead of the critical Christmas trading period.

Jo Jenkins, appointed as the firm’s director of clothing‎ and beauty in May, has left M&S to become chief executive of White Stuff.

An M&S spokesman said: “We’re delighted for Jo – she’s been a real talent here at M&S, which is reflected in the progress she has made both professionally and for the business.

“Becoming CEO at a company like White Stuff is a natural next step for her. We wish her all the very best with her new role.”

However, her departure will be a blow for chief executive Steve Rowe, who has made turning around the ailing womenswear division one of his top priorities.

Earlier this year he drafted in former Halfords chief executive Jill McDonald as managing director of clothing, home and beauty to lead the turnaround.

In July the high street giant said like-for-like sales fell 1.2% in its clothing and home division, although Mr Rowe said the unit was moving in the “right direction” as the performance marked an improvement on the 5.9% tumble seen in the previous three months.

Press Association

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