Peter Salsbury, CEO of Marks & Spencer, has resigned the company confirmed today. The resignation is effective immediately. Luc Vandevelde will take on Salsbury's responsibilities.

Speculation on Salsbury's future reached a peak on Friday when news of Roger Holmes' appointment as M&S managing director of UK retail was leaked to the press.

Clara Freeman, executive director of 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.

Two new directors will join the board. Roger Holmes, formerly of Kingfisher, will join the board as managing director, UK retail and David Norgrove, chairman of Marks & Spencer's ventures division, will join the board as executive director, strategy, international, and ventures.

Luc Vandevelde said: "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."

Roger Holmes, formerly of Kingfisher, was the company's chief executive of the £3bn electrical division and a main board director. His lack of clothes retailing experience has caused raised eyebrows in the City, although he was well regarded at Kingfisher. "Roger Holmes has good retail experience, but in completely the wrong product area. I am confused by his appointment and don't see how he can turn M&S' fortunes around," Bryan Roberts, retail analyst for Retail Intelligence, commented last Friday when the news first broke.

As head of the UK retail division, Mr Holmes will be responsible for all aspects of the UK retail business, operations and management of seven customer business units, functional heads and stores. His joining date is yet to be confirmed.

David Norgrove is currrently chairman of M&S's ventures division, responsible for identifying and implementing alliances, joint ventures and business initiatives focusing on new channels and formats.