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M&S ‘knicker queen’ Janie Schaffer seeking a £1m payout

Former M&S ‘Knicker queen’ Janie Schaffer is seeking a £1m-plus payout from the company after quitting just three months into the role.

Schaffer left her role as chief creative officer at Victoria’s Secret to take on the mantle of director of lingerie and beauty for M&S in January.

She is claiming compensation for share options at the US lingerie chain that would have vested in January 2013 as well as her salary until the end of 2013, and other share options that would have vested over the next few years, according to the Financial Times.

Quoting sources familiar with the claim, the FT said Schaffer has agreed a two-year package with M&S upon taking on the position to compensate her for about 70% of the shares and share options built up over five years at Victoria’s Secret. Schaffer is claiming that as M&S wanted her to begin the role as soon as possible, she had resigned in October, rather than wait until January. 

According to the sources, the claim arises from a dispute over her job description, which Schaffer believed would give her full control over the lingerie business unit, including marketing, packaging and store design, as well as expansion through standalone lingerie and beauty shops.

According to the FT, M&S said: “This matter is in the hands of our lawyers and we have absolutely no further comment to make.”

Schaffer also co-founded lingerie chain Knickerbox in 1986. At M&S she replaced Frances Russell who was promoted to director of womenswear in November. 

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