Marks & Spencer lingerie and clothing director leaves weeks after starting new role

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Marks & Spencer has been rocked by the departure of a senior member of its troubled clothing division, just weeks after starting in the new role.

Jo Jenkins, who joined the retailer in 2013, was appointed as the director of the clothing and beauty department – which also covers lingerie and swimwear – in May and started in her new role earlier this month.

But she is now leaving to become the new CEO of White Stuff.

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“We’re delighted for Jo – she’s been a real talent here at M&S, which is reflected in the progress she has made both professionally and for the business,” an M&S spokesperson said in a statement.

“Becoming CEO at a company like White Stuff is a natural next step for her. We wish her all the very best with her new role.”

The news will come as a blow to M&S CEO Steve Rowe, who continues the fight to improve flagging clothing sales.

Earlier this year he drafted in former Halfords chief executive Jill McDonald as managing director of clothing, home and beauty to lead the turnaround.

In July, the Clothing & Home department witnessed a 0.5% decline in sales over three months. This compares with a 5.9% fall posted in the previous quarter.

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