Marks & Spencer's (M&S) top marketer, Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, is to depart the business amid a breakdown of its 'one-brand' marketing function. In the wake of his exit, two divisional heads will take on responsibility for advertising the clothing and home division and food businesses separately.
Bousquet-Chavanne was promoted to executive director of customer, marketing and M&S.com in May 2016 as the brand tried to turn around falling sales by giving him oversight of the entire customer experience.
However, M&S announced today (18 April) that he will depart the business in May along with Rob Weston who was marketing director for brand and customer.
It comes just months after a restructure of the marketing leadership team which put separate marketers in charge of food and clothing and home, each of whom reported into Bousquet-Chavanne. At the time, it was described as a “one-brand approach” to make it “faster, more commercial and acutely focused on our customers.”
Following Bousquet-Chavanne’s departure, this will be devolved as M&S looks to build “a family of accountable businesses, each with its own top calibre leadership.”
Day-to-day, as per the appointments made in January, Sharry Cramond will run food marketing, while Nathan Ansell will run the clothing and home marketing.
However, M&S’s wider brand and corporate marketing will now fall under the divisional managing directors, Jill McDonald – who joined from Halfords last year to head up clothing and home - and Stuart Machin who runs Food.
McDonald has a strong background in marketing, having spent 16 years at British Airways, latterly as head of global marketing, before joining McDonald's as chief marketing officer.
However, Machin’s background in advertising is less established, having served as managing director and then chief executive of Target Australia and chief executive at Harveys and Bensons for Beds before joining M&S.
Bousquet-Chavanne assured that the brand’s future would be “in great hands.”
“Leading M&S’s global marketing agenda and, most recently, our digital transformation at a time of complex retail industry changes has been highly fulfilling,” he said. “M&S is a very special brand with a powerful relationship with the British public.”
Chief executive Steve Rowe said Bousquet-Chavanne “made great strides in laying the foundations of our digital business as well as extending our Plan A credentials”.
“He brought great brand marketing skills and creativity to the business. We thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future,” Rowe added.