Marc Bolland to be replaced by Steve Rowe in 2016

Marks and Spencer Group plc today announces that Marc Bolland has informed the Board that, after six years in the role, he wishes to retire as CEO in 2016.

Marc will be succeeded as CEO by Steve Rowe, Executive Director of General Merchandise. Marc Bolland will remain CEO and on the Board until the end of the current financial year on 2 April 2016 when he will hand over to Steve Rowe. Marc will then remain available to Steve and the Board to assist in the transition until 30 June 2016.

In reaching its conclusion to appoint Steve Rowe as the next CEO of Marks and Spencer Group plc, the Nominations Committee set a rigorous assessment, development and selection process, including external benchmarking. The Board is grateful to Marc for his planning, enabling the Nominations Committee to work carefully and systematically on his succession.

Marks and Spencer

Steve Rowe has been with Marks and Spencer Group plc for over 25 years and been a Board Member since 2012. Before joining the Board, Steve 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 Marc Bolland to the Executive team as Executive Director, Food and was appointed to the Board of Marks and Spencer Group plc. In particularly difficult market conditions Steve led the Food business to produce 12 consecutive quarters of like for like growth, grow its margin and all its key performance metrics, continue its record of outstanding innovation and set out a path for further profitable growth. In July 2015, Steve Rowe was appointed Executive Director, General Merchandise with a mandate to improve the overall performance of that business, building on the improved design and sourcing capabilities.

Robert Swannell, Marks and Spencer Group plc Chairman, 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.

“I am delighted that, after the most rigorous succession planning, Marc will be succeeded by Steve Rowe. 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."

Marc 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. I would like to thank all my colleagues and the Board at Marks & Spencer for being so supportive of the drive to prepare M&S for the future. I am proud to leave such a large group of talent behind in the business.

Steve Rowe said:

It is a great privilege to be appointed CEO of Marks & Spencer and to have the opportunity to lead this unique company and all its people forward.

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