Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

M&S Said to Offer Top Clothing Job to Ex-Next Star Angelides

  • Angelides said to be retailer’s preferred candidate for role
  • Executive was fired by Abercrombie & Fitch at end of 2015

Marks & Spencer Group Plc has offered the key role at the helm of its struggling clothing business to former Next Plc product director Christos Angelides, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Angelides, who most recently led the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, is M&S’s preferred candidate for the job, said the person, who declined to be identified as the matter is private.

Christos Angelides

Photographer: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images

Angelides and a Marks & Spencer spokeswoman both declined to comment.

When Steve Rowe was promoted from M&S’s head of clothing to become its chief executive officer in April he made it clear that arresting a five-year sales slump at the London-based retailer’s clothing division was his top priority. One of his first decisions was that he would personally remain in charge of the clothing business for the foreseeable future.

In his capacity as Next’s group product director, Angelides was a thorn in the side of M&S for 16 years. He played a crucial role in luring customers away from the U.K.’s largest clothing retailer, which saw its market share dwindle.

In 2014, Angelides left Next to become president of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, where he didn’t enjoy the same success. The 53-year-old was fired in December 2015 amid weak sales at the U.S. retailer, receiving a severance payment totaling $5.5 million, according to a company filing.

Given his current circumstances, Angelides would be able to take up the role quickly. Were he to take the M&S job, he would be required under U.K. rules to step down from his role as a non-executive director of fashion retailer French Connection Group Plc, where he started in March.

Sky News reported on Sunday that Angelides was being considered by M&S for the job.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.