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Marks & Spencer appoints new chief digital officer

Marcus East leaves role as head of e-commerce at Apple to become CDO at retail chain

Marks & Spencer has appointed former Apple e-commerce head Marcus East as its new chief digital and product officer (CDO).

East begins work at the firm this month and will be responsible for customer experience and digital transformation. Marks & Spencer CEO Marc Bolland said East was appointed to “develop world-class digital products and solutions that provide compelling experiences for M&S customers around the world”.

East was previously head of worldwide e-commerce solutions project management office (PMO) and technical product development at Apple, where he worked to create greater unity between the stakeholders of the business and the engineering teams to improve customers’ online shopping experience.

Before heading up e-commerce at Apple, East was chief information officer (CIO) and chief digital officer (CDO) for Comic Relief, managing teams running digital websites, including technology for web donations as well as back-end IT operations and systems architecture.

As part of his role at Comic Relief, East worked on the development of the charity’s FundRaising Operating System (FROST) digital fundraising platform, and ran digital and technology programmes for the 2011 Red Nose Day using cloud to scale the technology architecture used for previous fundraising events.

East will look after Marks & Spencer’s agile centre of excellence division as well as handling digital development/software engineering, product management and ownership, program management/studio and user experience and design.

M&S has embarked on a digital push, including the relaunch of its e-commerce website after moving away from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring development in-house.

Read more about Marks & Spencer

  • Marks & Spencer has unveiled its new-look website as part of its wider multi-channel approach to retail.
  • Outgoing Marks & Spencer IT director Darrell Stein is to join consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group in the summer.

In the past, the retailer has used its digital arm, then known as M&S Digital Lab, to trial the use of digital technologies such as payment by mobile application in Marks & Spencer cafés.

The company has also focused on making its processes more agile in the development of customer-facing technologies.

At the NRF Big Show 2016 in New York, Marks & Spencer CMO Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said that going forward, the retailer would be using technology to improve customer experience through personalised experience and improved omni-channel customer loyalty.

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