Avis, who has headed the department for the past 18 months, will leave the company by mutual consent this Friday (18 June). Sharp, who followed new chief executive Stuart Rose to M&S from Arcadia, was last week confirmed as head of marketing, store development and design for the beleaguered retailer, which is the subject of a takeover bid by billionaire Philip Green.
The details of Sharp's role, superseding Avis' existing responsibilities, came as M&S announced last week that executive director Vittorio Radice was to leave. He had been charged with revitalising the chain, but sales in his much-hyped £15m Lifestore in Gateshead fell 40% short of targets.
A leaked email from Rose to staff outlined cost-cutting measures which would include 'non-merchandise expenditure' such as marketing. He insisted that all costs must now be passed by himself or Sharp.
A spokeswoman said that 'everything was under review', but it was too early to say how agency arrangements will be affected.
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R and Walker Media were appointed to the £21m account in 2000.