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John Lewis axes marketing director

John Lewis marketing director Gill Barr has been made redundant as part of a wider shake up of the department store’s management team.

Barr, who also sat on the John Lewis board, departs at the end of this week. She joined the retailer in January 2007 from Woolworths. The brand communications, creative services departments and marketing department will now report to John Lewis merchandising director Jill Little.

Miranda Goodenough, head of direct marketing, has also left the business.

Gareth Thomas, who headed up retail design and development, has been promoted to retail director. The role also encompasses retail operations.

The departure of Barr will come as a surprise to the industry as John Lewis has been stepping up its marketing campaigns of late, particularly for its fashion offer. Last month it launched its second womenswear campaign with model Karen Elson and it signed model Matthew Evedon as its first menswear face. John Lewis will also relaunch the fashion offer on its website in the autumn.

A spokeswoman for John Lewis said reducing the size of the management board would “enable swifter decision making as is appropriate for a vibrant and forward-looking business.”

John Lewis said it did not know if there would be any further redundancies.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “I am very grateful for the way Gill has established a professional marketing function within John Lewis. I am confident we will build on this legacy and wish her well in her future.”

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