Leading with James Ashton

S4 Episode 14 - Marks & Spencer

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Episode notes

Katie Bickerstaffe is joint chief operating officer at Marks & Spencer.

She is part of the top team tasked with reviving the retailer’s clothing and home business while capitalising on the appeal of its expanding food operation and the shift towards shopping online.

Bickerstaffe joins James Ashton to discuss:

Her quest to make daily improvements to the business that still frustrates customers;

Career confidence and experience gathered at Dixons, Dyson and SSE;

How she makes a four-day week work;

And why she believes M&S’s new alumni network M&S Family will benefit both the business and its leadership.

Bickerstaffe is a product of Unilever’s graduate scheme but has also worked at PepsiCo, Dyson and the supermarket group Somerfield, where she became managing director at the age of 33.

Spending a decade at electricals retailer Dixons, she led the UK and Ireland arm and bedded down a merger with Carphone Warehouse.

Bickerstaffe had been a non-executive director at M&S since 2018. She became strategy and transformation director in 2020 and took on her current role in May 2021.

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