M&S HR director to leave with immediate effect

Jean Tomlin, HR director of Marks & Spencer, is to leave the embattled retailer with immediate effect, the company announced today.

Tomlin’s departure forms part of a wide-ranging management shake-up announced by chief executive Stuart Rose in an attempt to address ongoing falling sales at the retailer.

Pre-tax profits for the six months to 2 October fell to £292.7m, down from £325m a year ago, M&S announced today. Like-for-like UK sales – which ignore new store openings – fell by 4 per cent, it said.

Keith Cameron, who worked as HR director at retail chain Arcadia – owner of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Burtons – when Rose was chief executive, is Tomlin’s replacement.

Tomlin took charge of HR at M&S in March 2003, reporting directly to chief executive at the time Roger Holmes, and sitting on the group operating committee.

She joined from the Corporate Services Group, where she was HR and development director. Prior to this, she was the HR director at Egg, and has also held HR and sales roles at Ford and Prudential.

Announcing today’s changes, which also sees the departure of the finance director and other board members, Rose said: “These departures are not a reflection of the talents or qualities of the people involved.

“They have served the company well and I would like to thank them all for the substantial contributions they have made. However, if we are to succeed, we need to change how M&S is led and how it operates.”

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