Gordon Mowat's exit from Marks and Spencer comes two months after the resignation of managing director Jill McDonald © Getty Images
Gordon Mowat's exit from Marks and Spencer comes two months after the resignation of managing director Jill McDonald © Getty Images

M&S supply chain director quits

25 September 2019

Supply chain and logistics director for clothing and home at Marks and Spencer Gordon Mowat has stepped down after two years in the role.

Mowat’s exit from the retailer comes just two months after the resignation of clothing and home’s managing director Jill McDonald. The division had been hit by underwhelming sales.

Stephen Fitzgerald, transformation director and former executive assistant for M&S group chief executive Steve Rowe, will step into Mowat’s role on an interim basis.

In an email to staff seen by Drapers, Rowe said while Mowat had started to fix basic supply chain issues, the business will have to “move faster to address long standing issues in the supply chain”.

“As I said when I began to oversee clothing and home in July, we need to move faster to address long-standing issues in the clothing and home supply chain around availability and flow of product,” he said.

“Gordon has helped us to take our first steps in fixing the basics of our supply chain, including stabilising Donnington [distribution centre] and moving to a single-tier network, and he leaves with our thanks.”

Mowat joined M&S in August 2017. Prior to this, he held roles at Morrisons as group property director and Jack Wills as chief operating officer. 

In July 2019, it was announced that Rowe would head up the clothing and home supply chain programme at M&S to resolve “long-standing” issues around “availability and flow of product”. 

At the annual shareholders meeting, Rowe explained how a failed jeans promotion in February 2019 had led to the “worst availability” he had seen in his life. 

Earlier this year, the retailer revealed it had saved £100m through its transformation programmes, including restructuring of its end-to-end supply chain.

A M&S spokesperson confirmed the contents of the email and said: “Gordon Mowat leaves the business with our thanks and our clothing and home transformation director will take interim responsibility for our supply chain to drive change forward at pace. We look forward to sharing the detail on a new hire soon as we continue to bring new talent into M&S.

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