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Alison was appointed on 1 January 2014. She brings significant financial and commercial experience to the M&S Board, combined with considerable knowledge of running large-scale, multi-site consumer businesses.

Alison is Chief Executive of Whitbread plc, an organisation with a broad portfolio of hospitality brands including Premier Inn and a portfolio of restaurants. Established in 1742, Whitbread is the UK's oldest hospitality company and employs c. 35,000 people and operates in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.

Alison was previously Group Director of Lloyds Banking Group plc's Retail Division, with responsibility for the Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland retail branch networks, remote and intermediary channels and products, in addition to the Retail Business Banking and UK Wealth businesses.

Prior to Lloyds, Alison was Executive Director for Retail Distribution and a Board Director at Santander UK plc. She previously worked at Barclays for almost twenty years and held various senior roles, including Director of Barclays and Woolwich Retail Networks and Managing Director of Barclays Small Business Banking.

Alison attended university in Scotland and the USA and has an MBA from Cambridge University’s Judge Institute. She is a Council Member and Trustee of the Prince's Trust and has previously been a member of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council. In 2017 Alison was named the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year and was awarded a CBE in the 2019 New Year Honours List.

Alison is a member of the Nomination Committee and the Audit Committee.