• Melanie Smith named director of strategy at M&S
  • Previous appointments at Talk Talk and McKinsey among others

Marks & Spencer has drafted in Melanie Smith to the new role of director of strategy.

Smith, most recently at boutique consumer goods investment boutique Smith Hebert, will join the retailer at the end of this month.

An M&S spokeswoman said: “It’s a new role designed to look forward and develop future growth opportunities as we continue to recover the business.”

Smith also brings experience from health business Bupa, where she was global marketing and strategy director, telecoms specialist Talk Talk where she was responsible for the integration of Tiscali, and consultancy McKinsey where she gained experience in grocery operations.

Operating committee

Smith will be a member of M&S’s operating committee alongside directors such as Jill McDonald, shortly to join from Halfords as managing director for clothing home and beauty, food director Andy Adcock and customer, marketing and M&S.com boss Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne.

She arrives at M&S as chief executive Steve Rowe presses on with his plan to overhaul M&S and put its fashion division back on track

Yesterday the retailer reported a fall in full-year profits but flagged improvements such as a rise in full-price sales as fashion and business improvements take hold.