Britain’s M&S promotes Machin and Bickerstaffe in top team shake-up By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a Marks & Spencer store at Oxford Street, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, July 20, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer (OTC:) on Tuesday promoted food boss Stuart Machin and strategy chief Katie Bickerstaffe as part of a major shake-up of its leadership team’s responsibilities.

M&S said the changes reflected the clothing and food group moving on from the “fixing the basics” phase of its latest turnaround plan to a phase that will see it reinvest and restore growth.

Machin and Bickerstaffe will become joint chief operating officers, reporting to CEO Steve Rowe.

Machin will continue as managing director of food but also take oversight responsibility for operations, property, store development and IT.

Bickerstaffe will oversee the data, services, clothing and home and international businesses.

M&S said finance chief Eoin Tonge will also take on strategy and transformation planning.

It said Sacha Berendji, currently retail, operations and property director, will move to focus on the future of M&S’s store estate.

Richard Price and Paul Friston will remain as managing directors of clothing and home and international respectively.

M&S was struggling to reinvent itself after decades of failed attempts before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

A year ago it said the crisis would indelibly change its business and it would speed-up its latest turnaround plan, delivering three years of change in one.

In August, M&S cut 7,000 jobs and in November it reported the first loss in its 94 years as a publicly listed company.

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