Kara Greatorex

Source: M&S

Kara Greatorex will take up the position of chief commercial officer

M&S Food has poached two senior recruits from rivals, with Kara Greatorex moving from Aldi and Jon Downes joining from Morrisons.

Greatorex is to be M&S’s new chief commercial officer, while Downes will report to her as supply chain & commercial operations director.

Greatorex has spent the past 15 years at Aldi, in roles including buying director and MD for stores. Most recently, since 2022 she has been the discounter’s MD of national IT and e-commerce, with a focus on business transformation.

Before Aldi, she worked at Ocado in strategy roles within trading and marketing from 2007 to 2009.

Downes has been at Morrisons since 2015 and spent the past two years as its commercial director for ambient & non-food. Before Morrisons, he spent 14 years working for Tesco in buying and sourcing.

Greatorex will replace M&S’s Paul Friston, who the retailer said had decided to leave for other opportunities after 28 years with the business.

She is to join M&S on 4 August and spend her first month working in store to better familiarise herself with M&S staff and customers.

Friston is set to leave at the end of October, allowing time for a handover.

Downes is replacing Neil Adams, who has moved to M&S’s property team.

“I couldn’t be more excited about joining the M&S Food team,” said Greatorex. “It’s a retailer I’ve always loved and admired and having the opportunity to be a part of the ongoing transformation is fantastic.

“I’m looking forward to working with M&S’s amazing suppliers and colleagues to continue offering customers the quality, innovation and value they expect.”

M&S Food MD Alex Freudmann said: “I’m delighted that Kara has agreed to join M&S Food. She brings deep commercial experience in buying, store operations, marketing and transformation.

 “As we continue our work to transform M&S Food by investing in quality, value and innovation for customers and by building more strategic relationships with the very best suppliers, Kara’s experience and passion for product will be a great addition to the team.

“I’d also like to thank Paul Friston for his 28 years of service with M&S. Paul has made a significant contribution to our business, leading across Finance, International and most recently as part of my leadership team in Food. We wish him the very best for the future.”