M&S CEO Steve Rowe steps down
Marks and Spencer CEO Steve Rowe will step down after six years in the role and a career spent with the business.
Rowe will end his time in charge on 25 May. He will be succeeded by Stuart Machin, who will become chief executive, and Katie Bickerstaffe as co-chief executive. While Machin will take on responsibility for the daily leadership of the business and the executive committee, Bickerstaffe will focus on the supermarket’s omnichannel, digital and data future.
Mr Rowe, who joined the business at 15 and rose through the ranks until eventually taking over as Chief Executive in 2016.
In a statement, Rowe said: “It has been an enormous privilege to lead the business I love and have spent almost all my career working for. Leaving will be in many ways very difficult for me but I feel that after six hard years it is the right time to pass on the baton.”
M&S said it is now “in very different shape” to when Rowe took over six years ago. He will continue to advise the new leadership team for 12 months.
Chairman Archie Norman said: “The M&S he took over was in parlous shape and throughout my tenure he has been fearless in grasping the nettles and facing into the challenges and has delivered massive progress.
“As we move into the next growth phase, he leaves a very strong team to take the business forward. But as someone who has touched so many colleagues across the business over the years, he will be much missed and goes with our huge affection and best wishes.”
The business will now start what it calls a second phase of the transformation that started under Mr Rowe.
Stuart Machin will be responsible for the food business, the operations, property, store development and technology as well as HR. Katie Bickerstaffe will focus on global operations, and the company’s digital future.
She will also keep her current responsibilities looking after the clothing and home stores among others.
Eoin Tonge, who had also been linked to the top job, will take over as Chief Strategy and Finance Officer.
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