Alas, poor Steven. Esom is not the only person to lose his job as a result of Project Genesis, as the workers at Northern Foods will tell you. But the MD of the M&S food division is certainly the most high profile.

Nor are the problems of M&S's food division all of his own making. As we've said for at least a year, there's been a fundamental disconnect between the value in the clothes offer, and the increasing premium, in terms of the food itself, and the margin M&S was commanding versus even Esom's alma mater, Waitrose.

The amount of space dedicated to food has also declined, which has cramped the offer. And innovation stalled for two years.

The failing of Esom and, of Project Genesis, was the overemphasis on the supply chain, brands, ingredients, as opposed to price. Even before the credit crunch, with Aldi, Asda et al mimicking the premium own-label products that were once the exclusive domain of M&S, it was pricing itself out of the market. The retirement of the 'This is not just food this is M&S food' strapline cannot come too soon.