• It is not known whether Wade-Gery will resume her career
  • Wade-Gery was in the running for the top job following Marc Bolland’s resignation
  • She extended her maternity leave to a year in December

Marks & Spencer exec director Laura Wade-Gery will not return to the business following her maternity leave, the retailer has revealed.

Wade-Gery took maternity leave, which she extended to a year in December, after the birth of her first child. She has spent five years at M&S, arriving from Tesco.

M&S revealed in a stock exchange announcement today that she would not return to the business after her maternity leave and would leave the company at the end of the month. She will step down from the board with immediate effect and will not be replaced.

Wade-Gery said: “I’ve been away from the business for a year now, and that time has seen some significant changes in both my personal life and in the business. I concluded that the time was right to move on from M&S. I wish Steve [M&S chief executive Steve Rowe] and all my colleagues and friends every success”.

Wade-Gery had been thought to be in the running for the top job following the resignation of former chief executive Marc Bolland. It is not known whether she will return to work or remain a stay-at-home parent.

Her pay-off is eight months’ salary and benefits - equivalent to £379,000 - and a further £160,000 for previously awarded deferred shares.