Mark and Spencer (M&S) has lured its former menswear boss Richard Price back to “accelerate” the turnaround in its troubled clothing and homes arm.
The food-to-fashion retailer made the announcement after the sacking of Jill McDonald in July amid grumblings over continued struggles for the division.
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe took personal charge of the department pending the appointment of a successor.
Mr Price, who left M&S for BHS in 2012, is due to start work next year and currently heads Tesco’s F&F clothing line.
He said of his appointment: “Marks & Spencer Clothing & Home is a great business which still has strong brand affection and huge potential.
“I left the business because I felt it was drifting in the wrong direction but now feel we have a real chance to make it special again.
“The new team has already started to improve product and value and I am looking forward to working with them.”
M&S revealed ahead of its latest financial results that its turnaround efforts were 18 months behind schedule.
The figures showed a 7.8% fall in total sales for clothing and home in the six months to 28 September.
That partly reflected the closure of poorly-performing stores.
Mr Rowe said: “Richard’s career spans some of the UK’s top clothing brands and he has a proven track record of delivering growth through stylish, great value product.
“We are building a team of world-class talent in clothing & home and, with Richard coming on board, I am confident that the speed and scale of the transformation of the business will accelerate.”
M&S shares were trading more than 1% higher in the wake of the announcement.