Marks & Spencer boss Marc Bolland has vowed to remain at the helm for at least another two years as he bids to turn the retailer around.
Persistent speculation has surrounded Bolland’s future as M&S struggles to keep pace with its high street rivals.
Its womenswear collection has continued to struggle despite Bolland’s “step-by-step” turnaround plan, although its Simply Food grocery business has performed well as it capitalises on modern-day shopping habits and the shift to convenience. It has also unveiled the Sparks “membership scheme” in an attempt to transform its relationship with customers.
According to The Telegraph, Bolland has told the board he believes his turnaround efforts, which have included an overhaul of the online business and its supply chain, are paying off and that he plans to remain in charge. But sources indicated that it was too soon to say that M&S was on a firm path to recovery.
Former clothing boss John Dixon had been touted as the natural successor to Bolland, but he shocked the market by stepping down in July. In September he revealed he was taking up the chief executive role at Australian department store David Jones from January 2016.
Remaining M&S executives including clothing and homewares boss Steve Rowe and executive director of multichannel Laura Wade-Gery have also been mooted as potential successors should Boland part ways with the retailer.
M&S will report its half-year results on November 4 with analysts predicting that clothing sales will remain in negative territory.