The Board of Marks and Spencer plc today announces its new top management team, reflecting its commitment to stepping up the pace of change. The changes are as follows.
  • Executive Chairman Luc Vandevelde will assume the responsibilities of Chief Executive from Peter Salsbury. Peter Salsbury has resigned from the Board, with immediate effect, and will be leaving the Company.

  • Clara Freeman, Executive Director for UK Stores and Group Personnel, and Guy McCracken, Executive Director, International Retail, Business Systems and Information Technology, have also resigned from the Board, effective today, and will be leaving the Company.

  • Two new directors have been appointed to the Board: Roger Holmes, formerly of Kingfisher, will join the Executive Board as Managing Director, UK Retail; David Norgrove, Chairman of Marks & Spencer's Ventures Division, will join the Board as Executive Director, Strategy, International and Ventures.

  • The Marks and Spencer plc Board of Executive Directors will comprise, in addition to Chairman and Chief Executive Luc Vandevelde: Robert Colvill, Director for Finance and Financial Services; Roger Holmes, Managing Director, UK Retail; Alan McWalter, Director for Marketing, Direct and E-Commerce; and David Norgrove, Director for Strategy, International and Ventures.
Luc Vandevelde said, "After six months in my role, I'm clear that in today's challenging trading conditions we need to step up both the pace and quality of implementation. These changes will inject new blood and management skills to strengthen our capability in strategy and execution. The business already has great expertise in its core areas of clothing, food and financial services. We now need to go forward with greater speed and determination.

Accountability is key. I am confident that the new team will help me to progress more quickly the Company's return to acceptable levels of performance."

He added, "I would like to thank Peter, Clara and Guy for their commitment to Marks & Spencer and the contributions they have made here. Peter deserves particular credit for the tough and courageous decisions he made to put the Company on its path to recovery."

Roger Holmes, 40, will join the Board of Marks and Spencer plc as Executive Director in charge of the UK Retail Division and will be responsible for the Company's 297 UK stores, Direct and e-commerce businesses. He joins the Company from Kingfisher, where he has been Chief Executive of the £3bn Electrical Sector and a main Board Director. He joined B&Q in 1994 as Finance Director and, three years later, was transferred to Woolworths to become Managing Director. At Woolworths, he led a series of new growth initiatives in the core chain and in new ventures, while sustaining the overall profit growth of the business. In 1999, Roger was promoted again to take up his current role. Prior to joining Kingfisher, he spent seven years as a strategy consultant for McKinsey & Co., latterly as Principal, specialising in retail and consumer goods.

At Marks & Spencer, Roger Holmes will head up the UK Retail Division, responsible for all aspects of the UK Retail business, operations and management of seven Customer Business Units, functional heads and stores. His strong strategic management skills, combined with proven hands-on experience in a range of business activities, including format development, profit turnaround and customer-focused organisational change, will be especially relevant at this stage in the Company's recovery. Roger Holmes' joining date has yet to be confirmed.

David Norgrove, 52, is currently Chairman of Marks & Spencer's Ventures Division, responsible for identifying and implementing alliances, joint ventures and business initiatives focusing on new channels and formats. His appointment to the Board as Executive Director, Strategy, International and Ventures broadens his role and recognises his strong abilities in strategy development. His previous career includes HM Treasury, where he rose to Assistant Secretary; the First National Bank of Chicago; and Private Secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1985 until 1988, when he joined Marks & Spencer. He served as director of Europe; Worldwide Franchising; Menswear and Strategy before taking up his current role in September 1999.