Marks & Spencer chairman Robert Swannell has announced plans to depart from the retailer, following a six-year stint in the role.
The department store has announced it is searching for a new chairman, led by senior independent director Vindi Banga. Swannell will remain until the position is filled.
Swannell joined the retailer in 2011, taking over from Lord Rose as chairman, after spending 30 years as an investment banker and. He remains chairman of the UK Government Investments, which deals with managing the tax payers stake in bailed out banks.
He stated: “A year ago we chose Steve Rowe as our chief executive. Steve completed a thorough analysis of the business and developed a detailed plan to build a simpler and more relevant M&S.
“This plan is now under way and I feel that it is the right time for the business to look for a new chairman.
“It is a real privilege to chair this iconic company and I will continue to do so until my successor is in place.”
The announcement comes during turbulent times for the British staple, as an 88.4 per cent drop in bottom line profits and problems with its fashion arm led to the announcement of 100 store closures and 2100 overseas job cuts.