Kate Bostock, M&S executive director, general merchandise

Kate Bostock, M&S executive director, general merchandise

Marks & Spencer has moved to quash rumours today (24 November) that general merchandise executive director Kate Bostock is in advanced talks to move to online fashion retailer Asos or another rival.

According to The Financial Times, unnamed sources claim Bostock is in talks to become Asos' managing director.

Speaking to journalists following the opening of its new Paris store, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: "I am not interested in discussing rumours in the press. We have never commented. Kate is sitting right here with me."

However, Bostock did not expressly deny the rumours, saying: "I am very disappointed at pieces in the press today. I am very proud of the team."

According to the reports Bostock is also being courted by several other companies, including New Look.

Earlier this month, M&S reported that general merchandise sales in the UK fell 0.8% and were down 1.3% on a like-for-like basis over the second quarter, which it attributed to bringing its sales into the tail-end of the first quarter.

Bostock joined the retailer in 2004 as director of women's wear. She was hired from Asda where she was product director for the George clothing brand, and before this was product director for children's wear at Next.