After serving six years as chairman, Robert Swannell has informed the board of Marks & Spencer (M&S) that he intends to retire in 2017.
Senior independent director Vindi Banga will now lead a process to identify and appoint the high street retail chain’s chairman. Robert will continue in his role until this process is complete.
Robert said: “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’s the right time for the business to look for a new chairman. It’s a real privilege to chair this iconic company and I will continue to do so until my successor is in place.”
Robert was appointed a non-executive director of M&S in October 2010 and became chairman in January 2011.
Until 2010, he spent over 30 years in investment banking with Schroders/Citigroup. He was formerly vice-chairman of Citi Europe and chairman of Citi’s European Investment Bank.
Robert is chairman of UK Government Investments, a company owned by HM Treasury which comprises the merged Shareholder Executive and UKFI.
L-r: Outgoing M&S chairman Robert Swannell with M&S chief executive Steve Rowe