marks and spencer

Source: M&S

Both Rachel Higham and Mark Lemming will join the M&S executive committee

Marks & Spencer has boosted its executive committee with a new appointment, and an internal promotion.

Rachel Higham, who is currently chief information officer at advertising giant WPP, will join M&S “later this year” as chief digital and technology officer.

Higham will take over responsibility for the retailer’s data and technology teams following the departure of Jeremy Pee in August. She’ll report into co-CEO Katie Bickerstaffe.

Higham has extensive experience working in digital functions across major corporates, including a spell as managing director for IT at BT. 

Alongside Higham’s appointment, M&S has also promoted Mark Lemming to managing director for international, from his current role as clothing & home supply chain & logistics director, which he has held for two years.

Lemming, who previously held senior roles at Screwfix, will take up his new role after the start of the next financial year, which begins in May.

“These two new leadership appointments reflect the importance of digital and technology and capital-light international growth to the next phase of our transformation,” said M&S CEO Stuart Machin.

“As I set out at our recent Capital Markets Day, we have more to do in both of these areas and so much opportunity.

“Rachel and Mark are a fantastic addition to the executive team, and I am confident that, with their leadership, we will accelerate the pace of change in the business as we reshape M&S for growth.”

The news comes during what has been a busy week for M&S, as Machin looks to push on from what were hailed as bumper Christmas results.

On Monday, M&S announced a further wave of price cuts – slashing the price of 65 “popular food lines” – alongside an extension of its ongoing price lock campaign.

To promote the new campaigns – which further demonstrate the retailer’s “trusted value promise” – M&S has enlisted seventies rock band Status Quo, who have released a reworked version of their hit Rockin’ All Over The World. ‘Saving All Over The Store’ will now be played across M&S stores and social media channels.