Marks & Spencer’s new chairman could be paid around 40% less than current chairman Sir Stuart Rose according to reports.

M&S is said to be in advanced talks with HMV chair Robert Swannell, who last week was tipped to take over the high profile role, in a deal that could earn him around £500,000.

Rose currently earns £875,000 for the role and his remuneration package, and that of chief executive Marc Bolland, have both caused controversy amongst leading shareholders.

Swannell was former vice-chairman of Citigroup and was instrumental in helping defend M&S from a hostile takeover bid from Sir Philip Green in 2004.

M&S has still not confirmed Swannell’s appointment but an announcement is expected this week.

It has also been reported that M&S boss Marc Bolland is searching for two new directors to focus on international and online as part of a board restructuring. Bolland is said to want grow its market share online where in fashion it has a 5.6% share compared to double that on the high street.