Blog: Leonie BarrieM&S succession race wide open

Leonie Barrie | 21 May 2009

The succession race at Marks & Spencer is as wide – and debatable – as ever, perhaps even more so now that Carl Leaver is to depart.

Leaver last August added homewares and e-commerce to his role as head of M&S’s international division, prompting speculation that he was being lined up to fill the chief executive hot seat when Sir Stuart Rose stands down in two years' time.

But now another potential successor to Sir Stuart has gone, and the focus has switched to Ian Dyson, group finance and operations director, who yesterday took charge of the retailer’s new programme, called ‘2020 - Doing the Right Thing’.

A rather irked Rose on Tuesday pointed out that there are lots of key players within M&S right now.

“We have a strong bench strength and a very clear succession strategy to identify a candidate,” he told journalists in London, adding that it’s unlikely there “will be any movement on this front until the next financial year.”

Rose, who was controversially appointed executive chairman of M&S last June, in addition to his CEO role, has indicated he will step down in 2011. And on Tuesday he conceded he would prefer his replacement to be an internal candidate “to build on what we have started building over the past five to six years.”

 


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