Former fashion director of M&S joins online rival Asos

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The Independent Online

Kate Bostock, the former head of clothing at Marks & Spencer, is poised to join the online fashion retailer Asos in a senior role, with her appointment expected to be confirmed today.

Rob Bready, the product director at Asos, is understood to be leaving, as part of the reshuffle. This is despite the internet specialist denying Mr Bready was heading for the exit after he sold £2.6m of shares in July.

Ms Bostock, pictured, who resigned from M&S in July, is expected to join Asos and its board in January.

Speculation linking Ms Bostock to Asos first surfaced last November, suggesting the online retailer had wanted her for a long period.

However, Nick Robertson, the chief executive and co-founder of Asos, which declined to comment, is understood to be staying on in his current role.

Ms Bostock spent eight years at M&S and in her final position as executive director of general merchandise was in charge of its entire non-food offer from clothing to homewares.

She had worked for George at Asda before joining M&S.

However, Ms Bostock's last year at M&S was dogged by a below-par performance at the chain, particularly in womenswear.

For the 13 weeks to 30 June, the high street stalwart's UK general merchandise sales tumbled by 6.8 per cent, dragged down by a weak performance in women's clothing. M&S's pre-tax profits fell by 1 per cent to £705.9m for the year to 31 March.