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Marc Bolland to retire as CEO of Marks & Spencer and be succeeded by Steve Rowe
Marks & Spencer has announced that Marc Bolland is to retire as chief executive of the business after six years in the role.
He will be succeeded by Steve Rowe who is currently executive director of the retailer’s general merchandise business.
In a statement, Marks & Spencer chairman Robert Swannell said: "Over the last six years Marc Bolland has led Marks & Spencer through a period of necessary change. Over this time, the company has made significant investment in enhanced infrastructure and capabilities.
"It is now positioned for a digital age, with its own on-line platform and dedicated e-commerce distribution centre, improved design and sourcing capabilities in general merchandise and an industry-leading track record of growth and innovation in the food business.
"Marc has put Plan A at the heart of the business and leaves a strong sustainability legacy. The board is very grateful to Marc for his leadership in this important period of enhancing Marks & Spencer's competitive position for its future."
Rowe will become chief executive at the end of the current financial year on 2 April 2016 although Bolland will be available to assist with the transition until 30 June 2016.
Bolland said: "It has been a huge honour to lead one of Britain's most iconic companies. I am delighted to handover to Steve Rowe as my successor. I have worked closely with Steve for six years and I am convinced that he will be a great leader for Marks & Spencer."
Having worked with Marks & Spencer for over 25 years, Rowe has been a board member since 2012. Prior to that, he worked in a range of senior positions across the business including director of retail and e-commerce and various positions in general merchandise.
In 2012, he was appointed by Bolland to the executive team as executive director for food and led the food business to produce 12 consecutive quarters of like-for-like growth. In July 2015, he was appointed as executive director for general merchandise with a mandate to improve the overall performance of that business.
Swannell added: "Steve has a deep knowledge of Marks & Spencer and a proven track record of delivering results in key parts of the business. The nomination committee was unanimous in supporting Steve's appointment in the light of his considerable knowledge of the business and its people, his appetite to continue the process of change, particularly in general merchandise, his perceptive and effective problem solving, his values and his observed leadership."