Steve Rowe steps down as M&S CEO after 6 years

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced that Steve Rowe will stepping down as chief executive in May.

Rowe, who is being replaced by Stuart Machin, joined the business straight from school at the age of 15 and has served in his current role for six years.

He outlined a transformation programme early on in his tenure, which M&S said has led to the company being in “very different shape from the business he took over”.

Over the six-year period, M&S Food was taken online for the first time through the Ocado Retail joint venture, the retailer’s clothing and home online penetration doubled, and 60 stores were closed from its legacy estate.

“It has been an enormous privilege to lead the business I love and have spent almost all my career working for,” said Rowe. “Leaving will be in many ways very difficult for me but I feel that after six hard years it is the right time to pass on the baton.

“I am enormously grateful for the support I have had in driving through the extraordinary transformation programme of the last few years from shareholders, the Board, but most of all the many thousands of colleagues in the business. A piece of my heart will always remain with the M&S family, and I feel that we have done many of the hard yards to restore the business to what it should be. I’m proud that I am leaving a very strong team who will lead it into the next growth phase. I wish them every success.”

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