Following his appointment earlier this week at iconic UK retailer Marks & Spencer, new ceo, Stuart Rose, wasted no time in choosing a former colleague to take on the challenge of overhauling the M&S marketing strategy.

Although M&S refuses to comment on how the hiring of Steven Sharp will affect its marketing department, the appointment casts doubt over the future of current marketing boss, Alice Avis. The retailer nevertheless insists she remains M&S' senior marketer.

Sharp and Rose worked together at retail holding company Arcadia before its takeover eighteen months ago by controversial entrepreneur Philip Green, who is also poised to bid for M&S [WAMN 01–Jun-04].

Sharp's background also includes marketing stints at Wal-Mart's UK food and clothing subsidiary Asda and UK department stores Debenhams and, most recently, Allders.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff