Marks & Spencer Chief Executive Marc Bolland is stepping down later this year and will be replaced by Steve Rowe, who is currently Executive Director of General Merchandise. Laura Wade Gery was also tipped back in August as a contender for CEO. She is now taking extended maternity leave than returning this month, as originally planned.
Bolland is planning “to retire” in April after six years in the role, during which clothing and general merchandise sales have struggled. Group Chairman Robert Swannell has confirmed that there was “no pressure” from shareholders or the board for Bolland’s retirement; a succession plan has been in place since both Bolland and Rowe began their roles.
Bolland will remain available to both the board and to Rowe until the end of June to ensure a smooth transition.