by Mark Chillingworth

Marks and Spencer CIO Darrell Stein leaves this summer

Mar 25, 20143 mins
CareersIT LeadershipRetail Industry

Marks and Spencer(M&S), the high street department store chain, has announced that Director of IT Darrell Stein is leaving the London headquartered business this summer. Stein is the latest in a number of senior departures at M&S and continues a spate of major CIO moves in the UK at present.

Stein’s departure was announced at the same time as the news that the Director of Property is also leaving the retailer. An M&S spokesperson said in a statement: “We can confirm that Darrell Stein, Director of IT, and Clem Constantine, Director of Property, will be leaving the business in the summer. Their roles have significantly changed recently; Darrell developed our new e-commerce platform which has now been delivered and, as announced at our interims, we will be putting on less GM space which changes our property focus.

“Both Darrell and Clem have done a great job and we wish them well going forward. We have a very strong talent pool at M&S that is being recognised internally and externally.”

A spokesperson for M&S told CIO UK that they will replace Stein after his departure.

This is Moneyreports that Stein’s departure is the latest in a series of senior losses at M&S following the resignations of Steve Sharp and Kate Bostock who were responsible for its marketing and clothing divisions respectively.

Since Christmas 2013 Stein has successfully delivered the new M& online platform. This has been one of his most significant deliveries at the retailer. The new online platform took M&S off the Amazon platform, which was the retailer’s entry into e-commerce, but saw the organisation relying on the pure online business, which was also responsible for significant disruption to the M&S business.

A die-hard Spurs fan, Stein is very well respected by the CIO community and in particular for the wide range of deliveries he has achieved at M&S during a very difficult time in the stalwart retailer’s history.

“It’s a really exciting time to be working in retail IT, we are much more central to the business than we were perhaps five years ago. There’s a lot more interest in what we do, whereas I think before we were seen as an overhead,” he told this title in December 2013.

In October 2011 Stein described to CIO how he led a major culture change within IT so the organisation focused on business benefits rather than IT projects.

“Rather than base the IT project objectives on a set of dates, I have given them a business benefit target. What that does is it focuses the minds of IT people.

“You have a certain amount of money to spend and you have benefits to achieve. If you are not getting the benefits then you have to find another benefit.”

Stein was also head of supply chain at M&S alongside his technology remit: “Running two functions of the business has helped me and taught me that it’s a better way to manage a back office function.”