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Katie Bickerstaffe has been appointed chief strategy and transformation director at Marks & Spencer.

Bickerstaffe is currently a non-executive director of M&S, and she replaces previous strategy director Melanie Smith, who is now chief executive of Ocado Retail.

She takes up her new role on 27 April, working four days a week, and will serveon the board and operating committee as an executive director.

Bickerstaffe was previously executive chair of SSE Energy Services, and until April 2018 was chief executive, UK and Ireland of Dixons Carphone.

Prior to that she worked with well-known food retail and consumer companies including Kwik Save, PepsiCo, Unilever, Dyson and Somerfield, where she was retail MD. She is also currently a non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe said: “Katie has been a great help to me and the wider management team in her role as a non-executive director and I am delighted that she will now be part of the executive team. Her experience in leading roles at UK food and non-food retailers and track record of delivering large-scale change will be invaluable as we accelerate our transformation.”

Bickerstaffe added: “Marks & Spencer is a fantastic brand with huge potential. I’m really looking forward to working with the management team to step-up the pace of the transformation.”