10/05/2004

Marks & Spencer announces chairman to step down

Marks & Spencer have confirmed that company Chairman Luc Vandevelde has indicated that he wishes to leave the troubled company.

In a statement the company said: "Luc's decision has been prompted by personal commitments previously made to the Halley family and which arise from the untimely death of Paul Louis Halley late last year."

Shortly after Mr Halley was killed in a plane crash, Mr Vandevelde joined the board of French supermarket Carrefour.

However, shareholders criticised Mr Vandevelde for spending insufficient time on what they considered was his primary task of turning around the performance of M&S.

As well as holding the post of M&S chairman, Mr Vandevelde has interests in Carrefour, Change Capital and Vodaphone.

The search is under way to identify a new Chairman and Mr Vandevelde will remain in post for "as long as necessary to establish his successor," said Marks & Spencer.

Marks & Spencer performance has improved in recent months, but there continues to be concern over the clothing business, which has remained in decline despite determined efforts at relaunching the brand in the target market sector.

(SP)

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