May 15, 2020
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M&S new fashion chief to start earlier than expected in July

May 15, 2020

M&S has surprised the fashion retail sector by saying that its new managing director of the under-pressure Clothing & Home unit will start earlier than expected. Richard Price will join the retail giant on July 6. 

M&S's new fashion chief is arriving early - Sandra Halliday

The company didn't say why he was starting earlier and whether this was connected to him being released earlier from a non-compete clause by his previous employer or simply that there’s more of an urgency for him to start in the light of the coronavirus crisis.

He’d originally been announced as the incoming MD in late November last year, although no start date was given at the time. This week, M&S CEO Steve Rowe said: “Richard joins us at a crucial time. I am confident that his leadership of a much-strengthened team and track record of delivering growth through great value, stylish product will accelerate the transformation of our Clothing & Home business and build on the improvements in product, value and availability over the past year.”

M&S also confirmed a change of responsibility for Rowe, who will hand over his Clothing & Home accountabilities to Price when he arrives. 

Price was previously CEO at Tesco’s F&F fashion operation and succeeds Jill McDonald, who was ousted last year after some high-profile mistakes were made by the firm, which failed to get enough top-selling items onto store shelves.

He had worked at M&S earlier in his career and said he left as he felt the business “was drifting in the wrong direction”. But he also added that the company has huge potential and that he has “a real chance to make it special again”.

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