July 29th, 2014 | by
2 min read

Marks & Spencer (M&S) announced last week that IT industry leader, Carl Dawson will be replacing outgoing Chief Information Officer, Darrell Stein. Although Dawson’s start date has not yet been determined, Stein will be leaving the company next month and Clifford Cohen, the current head of business solutions for M&S.com, will fill the role in the interim. Stein has been with Marks & Spencer since 2006 and has led major IT changes over the last few years.

Dawson joins the company in the midst of a complete leadership overhaul. The company’s finance head announced this month that he is leaving Marks & Spencer to join Tesco as their new CFO. A search for his replacement is currently underway.

Multichannel E-Commerce

Dawson will be leading all M&S online digital projects, a major undertaking. Over the last few years, Marks & Spencer has been working diligently to create a more technology-based customer experience. Sales have taken a dip after the company completed a major £150 million e-commerce site, migrating to an in-house platform from the legacy Amazon solution. Dawson will likely be under intense pressure to focus his efforts around improving and optimizing the e-commerce site to reinstate positive sales growth.

The company also equipped customer assistants with iPads, added in-store terminals that allow customers to shop online from stores, and added “inspiration screens” to show off current trends and featured products. As Dawson takes over, he will have his hands full renewing IT systems to support the new e-commerce site and ensuring the multichannel retail strategy is a success. DiscoverOrg is the first to report on upcoming projects in the IT industry.

Retail Technology Expert

Dawson has a long history of leadership in the retail IT industry. He has been the Chief Information Officer, Internet Retailing for Tesco since January 2013. He has also held Group CIO positions at both Shop Direct and Thomas Cook Group over the last decade.

International Retailer

Marks & Spencer was founded in 1884 and is now an international, multi-channel retailer. The company has nearly 800 stores in the UK and an additional 455 stores internationally. The retailer has revealed that they intend to make M&S.com as profitable as their brick and mortar stores. In order to make that goal a reality, the company will need to constantly strive for innovation in their online activities.

With a new CIO coming onboard, now is the time to reach out and make a case for how your product can bring the Mark & Spencer vision to life. DiscoverOrg’s research shows that new CIOs make some of the largest and most important purchasing decisions within three months of starting their new role. With DiscoverOrg’s Triggers, your sales team can be the first to know when a new Chief Information Officer joins a target company. Even more, our Org Charts will give your team access to the reporting structure, direct dial phone numbers, and verified email addresses for over 18,000 companies and more than 370,000 IT industry professionals.

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About the author

Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck is the CEO of DiscoverOrg, a 7-time Fortune 5000 company, which he co-founded at the age of 23. He has extensive experience managing the sales and marketing activities of fast-growing information technology data companies.