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UPDATE 1-ASOS confirms appointment of Kate Bostock to key role

* Bostock to join firm as exec director, product and trading in Jan

* Robert Bready resigns from firm to "pursue fresh challenges"

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer ASOS on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of Kate Bostock, the former head of non-food at Marks & Spencer , as a senior executive director, ending months of speculation she would join the firm.

Bostock, who as head of general merchandise at M&S was one of the most powerful women in the British retail industry, will join ASOS in January as executive director, product and trading, reporting to Chief Executive Nick Robertson.

Bostock's departure from M&S after a period of poor trading was announced in July but she did not officially leave the company until Oct. 1.

Linked with ASOS for nearly a year, Bostock has years of experience in fashion and retail. She worked for Next and then George at Asda, a subsidiary of the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart , before joining M&S.

ASOS, which targets young women looking to emulate the designer looks of celebrities like Alexa Chung, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kate Moss, also said product director Robert Bready had resigned "to pursue fresh challenges" after seven years at the firm.

Last week, ASOS said Brian McBride, a former managing director of Amazon in the UK, would succeed Waheed Alli as chairman from Nov. 1.

Shares in ASOS, up 57 percent over the last year, closed Tuesday at 2,267 pence, valuing the business at 1.85 billion pounds ($2.96 billion).

($1 = 0.6251 British pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Neil Maidment)

((james.davey@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7674; Reuters Messaging: james.davey.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: ASOS KATE BOSTOCK/