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M&S’s head hunt could lead to its first female boss

M&S’s head hunt could lead to its first female boss as retailer kickstarts course of to change CEO Steve Rowe

  • M&S has employed headhunter MWM Consulting to advise on a plan
  • Potential inner candidates embody COO Katie Bickerstaffe
  • Others are Stuart Machin and finance director Eoin Tonge

Marks & Spencer has kickstarted a course of to change chief government Steve Rowe.

The nation’s greatest excessive road retailer has employed headhunter MWM Consulting to advise on a plan that may think about three inner candidates together with Katie Bickerstaffe, who could be the corporate’s first female boss if appointed to the function.

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Candidates additionally embody Stuart Machin, who has revitalised the corporate’s meals enterprise, and finance director Eoin Tonge.

Hunting for a new boss: M&S has hired headhunter MWM Consulting to advise on a plan

Hunting for a brand new boss: M&S has employed headhunter MWM Consulting to advise on a plan

Signs that M&S is poised to think about replacements for Rowe recommend the temper at its Paddington headquarters is brightening additional after the onerous work of the previous 4 years since chairman Archie Norman’s arrival.

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The retailer is known to have had an enviable finish to the 12 months on each meals and clothes as many retailers struggled with disruption.

It has constantly ranked because the market’s strongest performing meals retailer this autumn and insiders say clothes gross sales have been so wholesome that it’s going to solely start wholesale value cuts when the Boxing Day sale kicks off on-line on the finish of this week.

A proper search course of has but to start and Rowe could stay on the helm for an additional couple of years, Sky News mentioned. But sources informed The Mail on Sunday the announcement of his alternative could come as quickly as subsequent 12 months.

Sky added that the benchmarking evaluate of inner candidates – a typical a part of boardroom succession processes – will finally lead to a proper search in the end that may embody exterior contenders.

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CEO Steve Rowe could remain at the helm for another couple of years, Sky News said

CEO Steve Rowe could stay on the helm for an additional couple of years, Sky News mentioned

However, M&S has put vital effort into grooming inner candidates. Bickerstaffe, former boss of Dixons Carphone’s UK and Ireland enterprise, was initially drafted right into a non-executive board function in 2018. Last 12 months she moved to a considerably extra hands-on function as technique and transformation director.

Then, earlier this 12 months, Bickerstaffe and meals boss Machin have been promoted to joint chief working officer roles. successfully pitting them head-to-head for the highest function.

The new board construction swiftly adopted a report within the MoS that Machin was thought to be a high candidate to run Asda.

Rowe, who began as a Saturday boy at M&S aged 15, has been chief government since 2016 after taking on from Marc Bolland. Rowe’s retail information, power and understanding of the enterprise are extensively believed to have been important in getting the corporate again in form.

An M&S spokesman mentioned: ‘Every board has succession planning as a part of its pondering however now we have no formal course of in place.’

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