Marks and Spencer Group (M&S) has announced that Robert Swannell will replace Sir Stuart Rose as the retailer’s chairman next year.

Swannell will join the M&S board on 4 October 2010 as a non-executive director prior to taking up his position as chairman on 4 January 2011.

Sir Stuart will continue as chairman until that date, when he will step down from the board and leave M&S. Rose was appointed M&S chairman in May 2004, and became executive chairman on 1 June 2008.

M&S said that Swannell brings considerable City experience having spent over 30 years in investment banking with Schroders/Citigroup. He was formerly vice-chairman Citi Europe and co-chairman of Citi’s European Investment Bank. He is currently chairman of HMV Group, senior independent director of The British Land Company, which he joined in 1999, and senior independent non-executive director of 3i Group.
M&S chaiman Sir Stuart Rose said: “I am delighted that Robert is to be M&S’ next chairman. His appointment completes our succession plan and enables us to revert to standard governance practice. His considerable experience of both the City and the commercial world will be a real asset to the Board and the business.”
Robert Swannell said: “It is a privilege to be asked to chair one of the world’s greatest brands. I look forward to joining the M&S team and working with my new colleagues on the board.”