M&S poaches top man from Wm Morrison

MARKS & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland has poached one of his former Wm Morrison colleagues, Christopher Taylor, to take charge of his convenience stores .

Taylor, who was leading Morrisons’ expansion into smaller convenience stores, is the first of Bolland’s former executives to be hired by M&S since Bolland was himself poached as chief executive in May 2010.

Taylor will take charge of running M&S’ 360 Simply Food stores and 335 restaurants and cafes located within stores countrywide.

He takes up the new role, titled director of Simply Food, franchise and hospitality, on 3 May and will report to Steve Rowe, M&S’ director of retail.

He appointment follows an internal reshuffle at M&S that will see Neil Hyslop, who currently holds the position, move to a new roles as director of space planning and development.

Hyslop will be responsible for overhauling M&S’ current sites and developing new shops.

Taylor’s decision to defect will be viewed as a blow to Morrisons, which plans to open its first smaller stores, branded M Local, this year as it works to maintain its market share in the UK’s fiercely competitive supermarket sector.

But he is not the first high-level executive recruited by Bolland from M&S’ rivals. Laura Wade-Gery, former chief executive of Tesco’s highly successful online operation, was lured to M&S by Bolland in January.