Marc Bolland, the man who has been running Marks and Spencer for six years, will exit following difficulties in transforming the business. After months of quashing rumours that he would be leaving, he has announced his decision to retire, and will remain CEO until the end of the current financial year on April 2,
In a trading update on the key festive period the high street giant hailed record trading in the food division, where like-for-like sales grew 5%, but the general merchandise arm of the business let the team down.
GM has remained Marks & Spencer’s Achilles heel for years so “unseasonable weather”, which the retailer blamed alongside poor visibility of stock and a decision to hold back on discounting, can’t hide a 5.8% drop in like-for-like sales over the Christmas.
Bolland denied feeling pressure to leave from shareholders in a conference call on Thursday morning, claiming that they recognise the business is a healthy one. Still, it seems Bolland is jumping before he’s pushed.
There’s no taking away that M&S recorded the best Christmas ever delivered by the food category. Perhaps it’s fitting, then, that after “the most rigorous succession planning,” Bolland will be succeeded by Steve Rowe.
Rowe has been w