UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is searching for new non-executive directors following the departure of two long-serving board members.
Louise Patten, who has served as non-exec since 2006, has announced that she will not be seeking re-election after her second three-year term comes to an end in July, while Chairman of the Nomination & Governance Committee Sir David Michels has also said he will step down in February 2012.
Michels successfully led the search for a new M&S Chairman, CEO and Chief Financial Officer in 2010, and he will maintain his dual role of Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director until his departure next year.
Robert Swannell, the current M&S Chairman, who Sir David helped recruit, said: “I would like to thank David for his contribution to the board, particularly for leading the Nomination and Governance Committee during the past year to ensure a smooth succession.”
Commenting on Patten’s time at M&S, he added: “I would like to thank Louise for her significant contribution to the board over the last five years, during which time she has played an important role on each of our board committees.”
The pair’s replacements will join a company that has major European expansion plans for the years ahead, as outlined by CEO Marc Bolland last November.
Later this year M&S will open a store in Paris, and the retailer’s new Director of International Jan Heere is currently working with other members of senior management to identify further opportunities for growth outside the UK.
Swannell commented: “The appointment of new non-executive directors with an appropriate mix of experience will further strengthen and support the company’s plans.”