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Bolland reshuffles after M&S fall

msaw2012Marks & Spencer is to reshuffle its boardroom in the face of falling sales, with two former directors of home getting two of the chain's most important jobs.

John Dixon, current executive director of food will become executive director general merchandise on 1 October while Steve Rowe, director of retail will succeed him and join the board. Kate Bostock executive director general merchandise is leaving.

Belinda Lang, former Debenhams, Jaeger and Aquascutum ceo will join on 1 September as style director along with Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne as corporate director of strategy implementation and business development. Bousquet-Chavanne is a former Estee Lauder group president and had been advising M&S on its YourBeauty concept.

Bostock's departure comes after a period with a lack of stock on its best selling womenswear.

UK like for like sales fell in the past quarter by 2.8%, with food up 0.6% but general merchandise down 6.8%.

'In home our key departments of kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms delivered a positive performance. Other sales continue to be impacted by our decision to withdraw from technology as well as weak demand for big ticket items,' says the chain.

'John has done an outstanding job in running the food division over the past four years. He has delivered consistent growth through meeting our customer's desire for quality and innovation. He is the right person to take over the running of our general merchandise division. He will be working closely in his new role with Belinda. She is a highly experienced retailer and her product knowledge and judgement will complement John's expertise. We are delighted that she has chosen to join us in this new role,' says Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive.

'Steve has been with the company for 23 years and has demonstrated his qualities as a proven retailer across a number of our departments. He is ideally suited to take on the task of continuing to grow our food business and I look forward to working closely with him.'