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Kate Bostock, Executive director for clothing, Marks & Spencer

Promoted to the executive board at Marks & Spencer this year, Kate Bostock added menswear and boyswear to her existing responsibilities for womenswear and kidswear.

While M&S has been accused of lacking punch for the past two seasons, Bostock has upped the ante on its Limited Collection and Autograph. She also masterminded the collaboration with Sex and The City stylist Patricia Field this autumn, although the collection received a mixed reaction from the press.

The departure of George Davies, founder and chairman of M&S’s Per Una sub-brand, means Bostock will take on an extra £500 million worth of sales next year. Despite this promotion, industry observers do not expect Bostock to end up in the M&S chief executive’s hotseat this time next year. If she does not, it will be crucial for M&S executive chairman Stuart Rose to hold on to her.

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