Changing of the guard at M&S

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The Independent Online

Marks & Spencer has said that two long-standing board members are stepping down, as it unveiled two new hires to its trading team.

Sir David Michels, the deputy chairman of M&S, is to vacate his boardroom seat in February 2012 after six years, while its non-executive director Louise Patten, who also joined in 2006, will stand down following the retailer's annual meeting on 13 July.

Mr Michels led the search in 2010 for a new chief executive, chairman and finance director that saw it hire Marc Bolland, Robert Swannell and Alan Stewart, respectively. M&S has kicked off the process to replace the two non-executives.

M&S has hired Damian Guha as trading director of home from the confectionary giant Mars. It has also poached Robert Weston, the head of strategy and international development at John Lewis, as brand director for food.