M&S launches search for a new chairman as board continues revamp of retail giant
Marks & Spencer has launched the search for a new chairman after Robert Swannell announced plans to retire after six years in the role.
Mr Swannell aims to quit next year, but will stay on until his successor is appointed.
He said it was the "right time" for a new chairman to lead the company's board.
"A year ago we chose Steve Rowe as our chief executive," he added. "Steve completed a thorough analysis of the business and developed a plan to build a simpler and more relevant M&S.
"This plan is now under way, and I feel that it is the right time for the business to look for a new chairman.
"It is a real privilege to chair this iconic company and I will continue to do so until my successor is in place."
Senior independent director Vindi Banga will lead the hunt for a new chairman.
Mr Swannell became chairman of the retail giant in January 2011, taking over from Lord Rose. A former investment banker of more than 30 years, Mr Swannell joined previous chief executive Marc Bolland at the helm during a difficult time for the chain.