'Knicker queen' walks out on Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer has parted company with the head of its crucial lingerie business after less than three months, in a shock exit that will pile the pressure on the retailer's chief executive, Marc Bolland.
Janie Schaffer, who joined in late January and was dubbed the "knicker queen", resigned from the high street giant last week after a bust-up over the amount of control she was given.
When M&S appointed Ms Schaffer in November, it described her as having a "stellar retail pedigree", which included the launch and ownership of the Knickerbox brand. Most recently, she had been chief creative officer at the US lingerie giant Victoria's Secret.
Her exit will add to the pressure on Mr Bolland, who took the helm in May 2010, and last week announced a 3.8 per cent fall in underlying clothing and homewares sales in its fourth quarter.
Some investors are already grumbling that the company has suffered seven consecutive quarters of falling sales in its general merchandise division, but M&S's food business posted another sharp rise in quarterly revenues.
According to sources close to Ms Schaffer, she was not given full control over the division she was hired to run. For example she did not have the final say over product packaging and marketing. They said she also faced a resistance to change within the retailer.
M&S confirmed her departure but declined to comment further. Her exit follows that of Kate Bostock, its head of clothing and homewares, who joined Asos last year. To stop the rot in its clothing business, M&S moved its head of food, John Dixon, to lead its fashion and homewares division last October and hired former Jaeger boss Belinda Earl as style director.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...