M&S retail chief Laura Wade-Gery to depart the company

One of Marks & Spencer’s most senior retail directors, Laura Wade-Gery, will not return from her maternity leave, a decision that ends her five-year stint at the company.

She will vacate her role as executive director for multi-channel retail at the end of the month and has already stepped down from the board.

Wade-Gery, one of the UK’s few female FTSE 100 board directors, joined M&S in 2011, after previously heading up the online business for Tesco.

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She will receive a payoff worth up to £2.4m in cash and shares, although only about £560,000 of that is guaranteed and the rest dependent on the performance of M&S over the next few years, reports the Guardian.

Commenting on the announcement, Robert Swannell, Chairman of Marks and Spencer Group plc, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Laura very much for the significant contribution she has made in her five years at M&S.  Laura has been a valued member of the Board and instrumental in the improvement and modernisation of our ecommerce and multi-channel capabilities. We wish her all the very best for the future.”

Steve Rowe, chief executive, said: “Laura has been a great colleague and has achieved much in her role heading our multi-channel business.  I am grateful to Laura for her contribution and she leaves M&S with my personal thanks and best wishes.”

Wade-Gery commented: “I have had five very happy years at M&S. I’ve been away from the business for a year now, and that time has seen some significant changes in both my personal life and in the business. I concluded that the time was right to move on from M&S. I wish Steve and all my colleagues and friends every success”.

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