Marks & Spencer has promoted Sacha Berendji to the newly created role of retail, operations and property director.

His enhanced responsibilities for M&S’ £3bn property portfolio – at present he is retail director – will “drive the pace of transformation and further strengthen the top team”, M&S said.

Berendji’s move, which M&S announced internally as it revealed the appointment of Stuart Machin as food managing director, has brought together responsibilities for retail and property “to more closely align its UK store estate management with the commercial retail team”.

M&S is in the process of reconfiguring its space to take account of shifting consumer behaviour as part of chief executive Steve Rowe’s turnaround programme.

Rowe said: “Given the focus we have on improving and rationalising our UK store estate, it makes sense to bring these two teams together.

“Sacha has a wealth of relevant retail and property experience which, combined with his strong bias for action, will help transform our shops to meet customers’ changing shopping habits.”

Berendji joined M&S as a graduate trainee in 1994 and has held a variety of roles at the business.

He will take up his new role from April 1.