Marks & Spencer share price: Chairman to step down next year
Marks & Spencer Group’s (LON:MKS) chairman is planning to step down next year, the blue-chip company has said. His decision comes less than a year following the appointment of Steve Rowe to replace Marc Bolland at the helm of the clothing and food retailer.
Investors have reacted positively to the news, with Marks & Spencer’s share price having spiked 1.02 percent to 346.80p as of 13:05 GMT, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which is currently 0.54 percent better off at 6,927.73 points. The group’s shares have lost more than 23 percent of their value this year, as compared with a near 11-percent rise in the Footsie.
Marks & Spencer announced in a statement today that after serving six years as Chairman, Robert Swannell had informed the board that he was planning to retire next year. He will continue in his role until a successor is appointed, with independent director Vindi Banga leading the search process.
“A year ago we chose Steve Rowe as our Chief Executive. Steve completed a thorough analysis of the business and developed a detailed plan to build a simpler and more relevant M&S,” Swannell explained in the statement, adding that the plan was now underway and he felt that “it is the right time for the business to look for a new chairman”.
Rowe, who took the helm at the high street retailer earlier this year, has been trying to turn around the group’s fortunes, hit by the company’s underperforming clothing division. Last month, M&S unveiled plans to close dozens of stores at home and abroad as it reported that its half-year profits had slumped by 88 percent.
Peel Hunt reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on the company today, valuing the shares at 500p, after Bank of America Merrill Lynch turned bullish on M&S yesterday.
As of 13:52 GMT, Tuesday, 13 December, Marks and Spencer Group Plc share price is 347.10p.