M&S appoints Archie Norman as new chairman

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Marks & Spencer has appointed former Conservative MP and ITV chairman Archie Norman as its new chairman, taking over from Robert Swannell as the retailer enters the next stage of a far-reaching turnaround plan.

Mr Norman is the second senior management appointment M&S has announced this week, following on from the appointment of Jill McDonald to lead its struggling clothing business on Wednesday.

He will join the company as it embarks on a series of store closures and retreats from much of its overseas business in an attempt to refocus the 133-year-old retailer on its successful UK grocery business.

Mr Swannell, who has chaired M&S since 2011, had announced his intention to step down as chairman last year. Vindi Banga, M&S senior independent director who led the selection process, said Mr Norman was selected after “a very rigorous appointment process”, and is “one of the most respected business leaders in the UK”.

In addition to his most recent position at ITV, Mr Norman’s prior retail experience includes stints as finance director at Kingfisher, and chief executive of Asda.

Robert Swannell said:

I am delighted that Archie, with his deep, relevant experience is to be M&S’ next chairman. It has been a real privilege to have served as chairman and to have worked with so many exceptional people who are so passionate about this great business. With the appointment of Steve Rowe in 2016, I am confident that we have an excellent team, well-equipped to grow and strengthen the business. I wish them all the very best for the future.

Archie Norman said:

I am looking forward to taking on the role of the chairmanship of Marks & Spencer as the business under Steve Rowe’s leadership faces into the considerable challenges ahead in a rapidly changing retail landscape.

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