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Exclusive: Another top-level departure at M&S

Marks & Spencer’s director of supply chain and logistics for clothing and home, Gordon Mowat, is leaving the business, as the retailer seeks to “move faster to address longstanding issues in the supply chain”, Drapers can reveal.

Mowat joined M&S in August 2017, from dental service provider Integrated Dental Holdings, where he had been chief transformation officer for a year. Before that, he was interim chief operating officer at Jack Wills from April 2015 to June 2016.

In an internal email, seen by Drapers, M&S CEO Steve Rowe said: “As I said when I began to oversee clothing and home in July, we need to move faster to address long-standing issues in the clothing and home supply chain around availability and flow of product. Gordon has helped us to take our first steps in fixing the basics of our supply chain, including stabilising Donnington [distribution centre] and moving to a single-tier network, and he leaves with our thanks.”

Stephen Fitzgerald will take over the role in the interim. Formerly executive assistant to Rowe, Fitzgerald was appointed clothing and home trading and transformation director three months ago. The role is responsible for “driving clothing and home performance through effective central commercial planning, co-ordination and measurement across [the] group”. Fitzgerald reports directly to Rowe.

In the interim, the following roles will report to Fitzgerald: head of operations clothing and home logistics, head of development clothing and home logistics, head of supply chain clothing and home, business transformation manager and head of end-to-end planning.

Mowat is the latest in a string of senior departures at the retailer. M&S announced over the weekend that group chief financial officer Humphrey Singer will be leaving the business after just 14 months in the role.

Managing director of clothing and home Jill McDonald exited in July, following the departure of head of buying for womenswear, Paula Bonham Carter, in April. Earlier this month, M&S poached Burton’s head of design, Karen Hall, to head up its menswear design team.

M&S was officially relegated from the FTSE 100 today. The relegation, announced earlier this month, is the first time that M&S has lost its FTSE position since the index’s creation in 1984.




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