City banker Swannell is new M&S chairman

Marks & Spencer ended months of speculation over its succession plans today when it named City banker Robert Swannell as its next chairman.

Mr Swannell, who was a lead adviser to M&S in its defence against retail tycoon Sir Philip Green's takeover bid in 2004, will succeed Sir Stuart Rose on January 4.



The former vice-chairman of US bank Citigroup's European operations will be paid £450,000 a year for the non-executive role. He will join the board on October 4 before assuming the role of chairman three months later.



The 59-year-old, who is also chairman of HMV Group, a position in which he will remain, said: "It is a privilege to be asked to chair one of the world's greatest brands."



Mr Swannell can expect to receive plenty of scrutiny from the company's army of private shareholders and the industry as a whole, analysts said.



Sir Stuart, who will continue as chairman until January 4, previously held the role of both chairman and chief executive - a position which is against best practice and was deeply unpopular with its major stakeholders.



The role was split earlier in the year as former Morrisons boss Marc Bolland was brought in as new chief executive. Bowing to pressure from shareholders, M&S agreed to cut Sir Stuart's pay by 25% from £1.16 million to £875,000, as he lost his executive role.



Samuel Johar, chairman of headhunters Buchanan Harvey, said Mr Swannell's considerable experience in the City - more than 33 years - could help mend relations with the larger stockholders.



He told the FT: "Given that M&S's relations with the City are a little frayed, Robert Swannell's intimate knowledge of the City and clubbable style would certainly improve relations."



But analysts said Mr Swannell will also face a battle for the hearts of M&S' small shareholders, many of whom were charmed by Sir Stuart.



Neil Saunders, consulting director at retail analyst Verdict Research, said: "Robert Swannell is not necessarily the first name that comes to mind for chairman of Marks & Spencer.



"However, his appointment makes strategic sense. He knows his way around M&S, retail and the City. Sure, he's not as big a personality as Sir Stuart, but he is just as competent and that's what counts.



"One challenge is his relationship with the thousands of small shareholders, they adored Sir Stuart so Mr Swannell will have a very tough act to follow."



He added: "In many ways, winning over these small shareholders is a more difficult task than managing the larger institutional shareholders in the City."



Sir Stuart, who insisted on Mr Swannell coming on board as an adviser to M&S when he joined in 2004, said he was "delighted" that Mr Swannell would be taking up the position.



He said: "His considerable experience of both the City and the commercial world will be a real asset to the board and the business."



M&S said it had no concerns over Mr Swannell remaining as chairman of HMV Group as the firms do not operate in competing spaces.



Mr Swannell is also non-executive director of property investor British Land. He will step down as non-executive director of infrastructure investor 3i.



In July, M&S often viewed as a bellwether for consumer sentiment, reported a 3.6% rise in first-quarter sales, but its outlook remained cautious.



Mr Bolland will deliver his strategic plan at the interim results in November.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Senior Analyst - ALM Data - Banking - Halifax

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...

Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/day

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star