Marks and Spencer Group plc has announced that Fiona Dawson, currently global president of Mars Food, will be joining the board as a non-executive director from 25th May 2021. 

Dawson is part of the Mars, Incorporated Leadership Team, with global annual revenues of over $40billion. At Mars, she has risen from the Graduate Trainee scheme to one of the top roles in the company. Her leadership roles have included president of Global Retail and Mars Chocolate UK and European Marketing vice president. She has a strong track record in sustainability, health and wellbeing, particularly women’s entrepreneurship and human rights.

Archie Norman, M&S chairman said: “We operate a highly engaged board committed to the transformation of M&S, one of the UK’s most loved brands, and Fiona is another very strong addition to our team. She comes from the Mars school of management and the culture and commercial dynamism that goes with that. She has turned around businesses, run and built factories and understands what is required to drive change. As a former president of the IGD, and through leading a major supplier, she knows the UK and global food retail industry better than anyone. She has operated at the cutting edge of consumer marketing and her background is in growing iconic, heritage brands.

“As a business leader Fiona has been a trail blazer as the first ever female general manager at Mars UK, helping steer not just Mars but also the broader food industry through challenging health and regulatory issues. Fiona has epitomised the Mars’ culture of driving growth with a strong moral compass. Her focus on coupling societal change with performance, underpinned by a strong corporate culture, make her a superb fit for Marks & Spencer.”

Dawson’s appointment follows on from the arrival as a non-executive director of Evelyn Bourke former CEO of BUPA earlier this year.