Ms McDonald graduated in 1986 with a first in Business Studies BA(Hons).
She said: “I became a fan of M&S whilst working on a project about them as a Business Studies student and I have been following the brand with interest ever since. M&S has a unique, special relationship with its customers and I am very motivated by working closely with customers to drive and shape results.”
Currently Chief Executive of Halfords, Ms McDonald, 52, will join M&S in the autumn. She previously worked at Colgate Palmolive and British Airways, where she became head of global marketing, before joining McDonald’s in 2006. She became Chief Executive for the fast-food chain in 2010 and was responsible for 3,300 restaurants in seven countries.
Ms McDonald will take over the M&S clothing division from Chief Executive Steve Rowe who said: “Jill is an excellent addition to the M&S senior leadership team and we are delighted that she is joining us.
“Jill's first-class customer knowledge and great experience in running dynamic, high- achieving teams make her exactly the right person to lead this all-important part of our business from recovery in to growth.”