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Marks and Spencer Group plc (“M&S”) announced today that Fiona Dawson, currently Global President of Mars Food, will be joining the board as a Non-Executive Director from 25 May 2021. 

Fiona is part of the Mars, Incorporated Leadership Team, with global annual revenues of over $40billion. Fiona has had a spectacular career at Mars, rising 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. Fiona also 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.”

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

Fiona will join the Nominations Committee at the same time as joining the board. M&S confirms that there is no further information required to be disclosed pursuant to paragraph 9.6.13 of the UK Listing Rules.

For more information, please call: 

M&S External Communications                           

0208 718 1919      


Fiona joined the Mars Graduate Scheme in 1988, rising through various management and leadership positions, to her current role as Global President of Mars Food in January 2019. She will continue as Non-Executive Director for Lego Group Board, a position she has held since September 2020 and, along with her additional current advisory roles as follows: 

  • 2021 - Present The Social Mobility Foundation, Board of Trustee
  • 2019 - Present Women’s Business Council Chair
  • 2019 - Present The Follicular Lymphoma Foundation, Trustee
  • 2018 Present Trinity College Dublin Business School, Advisory Board member

Previous advisory roles include: 

  • 2017- 2019  UK Department of Education, Advisor
  • 2014- 2016  UK Department of International Development, Economic Advisor
  • 2012- 2014  IGD President
  • 2010-2012   IGD Vice President  
  • 2010-2013   Department of Health Responsibility Deal, Steering group member 
  • 2010 -2020  Reading Blue Coat School, Governor
  • 2007- 2012  Food and Drink Federation (FDF), Vice President Responsible for launching the Industry’s Five Fold ambition for the Environment.  


1984 - 1988 BBS Hons Trinity College Dublin 

Awards include: 

  • 2018 Ultimate Irish Marketing Champion - awarded for excellence in Business Results over the last 25 years.  
  • 2017 The All-Ireland Marketing Champion
  • 2016 Irish Businesswoman of the Year (Overseas) 2016
  • 2013 Winner of UK “The Grocers Cup” for Business excellence

About Mars, Incorporated: Mars is transforming, innovating and evolving in ways that affirm its commitment to making a positive impact on the world around us. Across its diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, it employs 133,000 dedicated Associates. With $40 billion in annual sales, it produces some of the world’s best-loved brands including DOVE®, EXTRA®, M&M’s®, MILKY WAY®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, ORBIT®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, SKITTLES®, BEN’S ORIGINAL™, WHISKAS®, COCOAVIA®, and 5™; and takes care of half of the world’s pets through its pet health services AniCura, Banfield Pet Hospitals™, BluePearl®, Linnaeus, Pet Partners™, and VCA™.