Store chain Marks & Spencer (M&S) is trying to persuade retail director Anthony Thompson to stay at the company after it emerged he was in talks with headhunters, it was reported in the press.

Thompson, who joined the company in 2002 after a tenure at Gap, has reportedly become frustrated by his lack of responsibilities at M&S despite being appointed to a newly set-up four-person executive committee.

M&S' CEO Stuart Rose was recently named business leader of the year by The World Leadership Forum (WLF) for his much celebrated turnaround of the company's fortunes.