Marks & Spencer CEO stands down

Marc Bolland to leave as Christmas results disappoint

UK retailer Marks and Spencer has announced the retirement of current CEO Marc Bolland. He will be replaced by Executive Director of General Merchandise Steve Rowe when he leaves at the end of the current fiscal year on 2 April.

The news comes shortly after the company shared disappointing Christmas sales figures, with like-for-like sales down 5.8%. Bolland has been CEO since 2010, overseeing a period of significant spending on marketing and store redesigns in attempt to revive sales.

Marc Bolland

Christmas sales were disappointing for a number of UK retailers, with many blaming unseasonably warm weather. Marks and Spencer also admitted that holding back on discounting had also affected its sales performance.

Robert Swannell, Chairman at Marks and Spencer Group, said that Bolland had overseen a period of “necessary change” and that the retailer was now “positioned for a digital age” thanks to its enhanced online platform and dedicated e-commerce distribution centre.

Despite the overall sales slump, Marks and Spencer has seen some success in recent years, revamping its beauty hall to remove most own-brand make-up in favour of popular brands. The retailer has also seen success with a fragrance to accompany the sell-out Rosie Huntingdon-Whitely range of lingerie.

Late last year the brand launched a new loyalty card scheme, attracting 3.3 million customers in just 11 weeks.

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