Marks & Spencer Group (MKS) has ousted its clothing boss after she failed to get a grip on the biggest job in high street fashion. The departure of Jill McDonald was confirmed on Thursday and followed recent criticism of the performance of the retailer’s clothing ranges by M&S’s overall boss, Steve Rowe. He revealed that buying errors on her watch meant that at times key products such as jeans had sold out, resulting in the poorest stock levels “I have ever seen in my life”. McDonald’s appointment in October 2017 had raised eyebrows in the first place because the high-profile businesswoman had no experience of the fashion industry. M&S is thought to have paid her a seven-figure signing-on fee in cash and shares as part of the move from the cycle and car parts specialist Halfords, where she had to leave behind £1.7m in bonuses when she jumped ship. The company declined to say whether the 55-year-old was receiving a payoff.
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) has agreed to pay a $1.4bn fine to settle a US investigation into sales of a treatment for addiction to opioids by its former prescription drugs business Indivior (INDV). The maker of Nurofen and Durex said it had reached a deal with the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to resolve the long-running inquiry into sales and marketing of Suboxone Film, an opioid-based drug. Reckitt said it had acted lawfully at all times but agreed to settle to draw a line under the investigations and avoid further costs and uncertainty. Paying the fine, the highest single penalty so far imposed on a company involved in the US opioids crisis, also protects the company’s participation in US government programmes, Reckitt said. “After careful consideration, the board … determined that the agreement is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. It avoids the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with continued investigations, litigation and the potential for an indictment,” the FTSE 100 company said.