Marks & Spencer is understood to have poached Sara Bradley, former Sainsbury’s clothing boss, who was weeks away from joining Asda.

According to the Mail on Sunday, Bradley will take a senior role within M&S’s clothing business.

Bradley resigned from Sainsbury’s late last year to join Asda, where she previously worked, to head up its menswear and kidswear division. She originally left Asda’s George in 2008.

Bradley is the latest in a strong of high-profile appointments at M&S by chief executive Marc Bolland. Last month he poached Tesco high-flyer Laura Wade-Gery to head up its online business, and earlier this month he hired Jan Heere from global fashion retailer Inditex to lead international.

Bradley had been seen as a possible successor to Fiona Lambert, brand director of George at Asda. Her new role at M&S will put her in pole position to succeed M&S executive director for clothing Kate Bostock.

Caroline Massingham, people director at George at Asda, said: “We respect the difficult decision Sara has made and wish her every success in her new role.”