Roger Holmes, who was hired last month, is to join Marks and Spencer on January 1 next year, the company announced this week. Mr Holmes will join the M&S board immediately and is to be groomed as chief executive, effectively replacing Peter Salsbury, who left in September after months of damaging speculation about his future. An M&S spokesman said: "We are happy we've now got a date secured in the diary. We are looking forward to his strong strategic skills and are confident he will help turn around the flagging profits." He will step down from the Kingfisher board this month and will leave the company formally in December. M&S will pay him an annual salary of £400,000, plus a share option package.Mr Holmes earlier than expected arrival from Kingfisher has been extracted at a price - M&S has promised not to poach other Kingfisher employees for at least a year.