Troubled retailer Marks and Spencer has ended its four-month search
for a new head of communications with the appointment of American Cheri
Lofland, 42, will take the newly-created role of director of
communications, reporting, for the first time, directly to CEO Peter
Salsbury. Previously, the most senior PR position was corporate affairs
director, but that position has not been filled since 1997 when John
Stanley left the country.
Lofland will oversee a staff of 33, leading corporate communications
(which comprises internal and external communications), community
involvement and government affairs. Investor relations is handled by
Tony Quinlan, who reports to the finance director Robert Colvill,
although the two are expected to work closely.
Lofland said it was too early to talk about specific changes to strategy
and structure. ’We’ve agreed I’ll take some time to get to know the
company and my team, then we’ll work on the strategy,’ she said.
Lofland has 20 years’ experience in international consumer PR. She joins
Marks and Spencer from Reckitt and Colman, where she was head of group