01 January 1999

IN AN ATTEMPT to reverse its sagging fortunes, Marks & Spencer has appointed its first marketing director. The man charged with revamping the image of the ailing high street giant is 50-year-old James Benfield, an M&S insider who worked his way up through the ranks since joining as a trainee in 1970. His untutored hand will be held by an experienced senior marketer, likely to be an external candidate. Announcing Benfield’s appointment, a spokesperson said: ‘His job is to help M&S get closer to customers so that we get better at buying what they want.’ His responsibilities include brand promotion, store opera-tion, and the development of the mail order division.