Marks and Spencer, one of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom, has announced that its managing director in China, Richard Sweet, has stepped down.
Sweet had served the Marks and Spencer Group for about 20 years and the personnel change was announced only three months after the opening of Marks and Spencer's Shanghai department store, which is also the group's first outlet on the Chinese mainland.
Marks and Spencer said Sweet's departure had nothing to do with the difficulties in the Shanghai department store. It was part of the group's planned worldwide staff cuts, in which about 1,200 Marks and Spencer employees might lose their jobs.
Prior to this, local media reported that Marks and Spencer's Shanghai department store had been troubled by food supply problems. However, the retailer recently said that 95% of its supply problems had been solved.
Marks and Spencer added that as a part of the staff cuts in its headquarters, several senior management staff had departed from the group and Sweet was just one of them.
It is said that the group would not appoint a new person to replace Sweet and the management of Marks and Spencer's business in Chinese mainland would be taken over by its Hong Kong office.