Board of directors

  • Robert Swannell

    Robert Swannell

    Chairman

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    Non-executive director in October 2010 and Chairman in January 2011.
    Experience
    Robert is a Chartered Accountant and Barrister. He possesses a wealth of knowledge of many different business sectors, banking and the City acquired over a 33 year career in investment banking and extensive government and regulatory experience from roles with BIS, the Take-Over Appeal Board and the FCA. His significant board experience covers a diverse range of industries including retail, private equity and real estate. His leadership in the area of governance continues to promote robust debate and drive a culture of openness in the boardroom. Robert was previously Senior Independent Director of both British Land and 3i Group and Chairman of HMV.
    Other roles
    Chairman of Governing body of Rugby School, Trustee of Kew Foundation.
    Committees
    Nomination (Chairman)
  • Marc Bolland

    Marc Bolland

    Chief Executive Officer

    Appointed
    May 2010
    Experience
    Marc joined M&S from Morrisons where, as CEO, he successfully led the development and implementation of its long-term strategy. Prior to this, Marc built up significant consumer marketing and international experience at Heineken NV, which he joined in 1987. He was appointed to Heineken’s Board in 2001, with responsibility for global marketing and the regions of Western Europe, the USA, Latin America and North Africa, becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2005. As CEO, Marc continues to work with the Board in developing and implementing our strategy to become an international, multi-channel retailer.
    Other roles
    Non-executive director of Manpower Inc, USA, Honorary Vice President of UNICEF UK and Director of the Consumer Goods Forum.
    Committees
    Nomination
  • Alan Stewart

    Alan Stewart

    Chief Finance Officer

    Appointed
    Oct 2010
    Experience
    Alan brings extensive corporate finance and accounting experience in highly competitive industries as varied as retail, travel and banking. Alan joined M&S from the aircraft leasing company AWAS Aviation Capital, where he was Chief Financial Officer. Alan previously spent nine years in investment banking at HSBC before joining Thomas Cook in 1996, where he held a number of senior roles including Chief Executive of Thomas Cook UK and Group Chief Financial Officer of Thomas Cook Holdings. Following his appointment as Group Finance Director of WH Smith plc in 2005, Alan played a central role in improving the Group’s financial performance. He was previously a non-executive director of Games Workshop Group plc.
  • John Dixon

    John Dixon

    Executive Director, General Merchandise

    Appointed
    Oct 2012
    Experience
    John has a wide range of retail and product experience acquired from across the business. John began his career with M&S in store management in 1986 before moving to Paris, where he spent three years in various commercial roles at M&S’ European stores and Paris Head Office. He joined the UK Head Office as a Food Buyer before progressing to Category Manager for Fresh Produce. John has held a range of senior roles including Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive, Director of M&S Direct and Director of Home. He became Director of Food in July 2008 and was appointed Executive Director, Food in 2009, moving to Executive Director, General Merchandise in October 2012.
  • Laura Wade-Gery

    Laura Wade-Gery

    Executive Director, Multi-channel E-commerce

    Appointed
    July 2011
    Experience
    Laura has considerable retail and consumer experience, including significant e-commerce knowledge acquired from her previous roles at Tesco plc, including Chief Executive Officer of Tesco.com and Tesco Direct. Laura continues to drive the improvement and modernisation of our e-commerce and multi-channel capabilities. She was previously a non-executive director of Trinity Mirror plc and has held a variety of roles at Gemini Consulting and Kleinwort Benson.
    Other roles
    Trustee of Royal Opera House Covent Garden Limited, Member of the Government’s Digital Advisory Board and a Trustee of Aldeburgh Music.
  • Steve Rowe

    Steve Rowe

    Executive Director, Food

    Appointed
    Oct 2012
    Experience
    Steve joined M&S in 1989 and progressed through a variety of roles within store management before moving to Head Office in 1992. He has acquired considerable experience from senior positions across the Group. Steve spent seven years in Menswear, during which he held a number of roles including Head of Merchandising, prior to his appointment as Director of Home in 2004. He was appointed Director of Retail in 2008 and Director of Retail and E-commerce in 2009, briefly reverting to Director of Retail in 2011 before his appointment to the Board in 2012.
    Other roles
    Director, Strategic Board of the New West End Company.
  • Jan du Plessis

    Jan du Plessis

    Senior Independent Director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    Non-executive director in 2008 and Senior Independent Director in March 2012.
    Experience
    Jan has considerable business and brand experience having sat on the boards of several leading companies across a range of industries. Jan was formerly Chairman of British American Tobacco plc and a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group. He was Group Finance Director of Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group, until 2004 and Chairman of RHM from 2005 until its takeover by Premier Foods in 2007. Jan is a South African Chartered Accountant.
    Other roles
    Chairman of Rio Tinto.
    Committees
    Audit, Nomination, Remuneration
  • Vindi Banga

    Vindi Banga

    Non-executive director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    Sept 2011
    Experience
    Vindi has extensive consumer brand knowledge and global business experience, acquired over 33 years in senior roles within the consumer goods industry at Unilever plc, including President of the Global Foods, Home and Personal Care businesses and as a member of the Executive Board. Vindi was previously Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Lever Limited. He is the recipient of the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honours.
    Other roles
    Partner at Clayton Dubilier & Rice, non-executive director of Thomson Reuters and Maruti Suzuki India, Board member of B&M Retail and a member of the Prime Minister of India’s Council of Trade and Industry.
    Committees
    Nomination, Remuneration
  • Miranda Curtis

    Miranda Curtis

    Non-executive director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    Feb 2012
    Experience
    Miranda brings a wealth of experience of the international consumer and technology sectors and extensive knowledge of the global broadband cable industry. During Miranda’s 20-year career with Liberty she led the company’s investments in digital distribution and content operations across Continental Europe and Asia-Pacific, most notably in Japan. She was previously a non-executive director of National Express Group plc.
    Other roles
    Chairman of Waterstones, non-executive director of Liberty Global, board member of both the Institute for Government and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Deputy Chairman of Garsington Opera and Vice Chairman of African girls’ education charity, Camfed.
    Committees
    Nomination, Remuneration
  • Martha Lane Fox

    Martha Lane Fox

    Non-executive director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    June 2007
    Experience
    Martha brings extensive experience in the successful operation of online and consumer facing businesses. Her input continues to challenge and influence the development of our multi-channel strategy. Martha co-founded lastminute.com in 1998, taking it public in 2000 and selling it in 2005. Martha was awarded a CBE in 2013 and was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in March 2013.
    Other roles
    UK Digital Champion, chair of Go On UK, MakieLab, Founders Forum for Good and the Government’s Digital Service Advisory Board. Co-founder and chair of Lucky Voice, non- executive director of MyDeco.com, the Women’s Prize for Fiction and founder of her own charitable foundation, Antigone.
    Committees
    Audit, Nomination
  • Andy Halford

    Andy Halford

    Non-executive director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    Jan 2013
    Experience
    Andy brings invaluable international, consumer and digital experience, as well as a strong finance background. He joined Vodafone in 1999 as Financial Director of Vodafone Limited, becoming Financial Director for Vodafone’s Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa Regions in 2001. He was previously Chief Financial Officer of Verizon Wireless in the US and Group Finance Director of East Midlands Electricity plc. Andy is a former Chairman of The Hundred Group of Finance Directors in the UK. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
    Other roles
    Chief Financial Officer of Vodafone Group plc and a member of the Board of Representatives of the Verizon Wireless Partnership.
    Committees
    Audit (Chairman Designate), Nomination
  • Steven Holliday

    Steven Holliday

    Non-executive director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    July 2004
    Experience
    Our longest serving non-executive director, Steve has extensive knowledge of corporate business and has held a variety of senior executive and boardroom level roles within the challenging utility and oil and gas industries. He spent 19 years with Exxon and was an executive director of British Borneo Oil and Gas before joining National Grid as Group Director, UK and Europe in 2001 and became CEO in 2006. His international experience includes a four year spell in the US and he has developed business opportunities in countries including China, Brazil, Australia and Japan.
    Other roles
    Group CEO of National Grid; Chairman of both Board of Trustees of homeless charity Crisis and Business In The Community’s Talent and Skills Leadership Team.
    Committees
    Audit, Nomination, Remuneration (Chairman)

Board changes in the coming year

  • Steven Sharp

    Steven Sharp

    Executive Director, Marketing

    Appointed
    Nov 2005
    Experience
    After nine years at M&S Steve will be retiring from the business. Therefore he will not be standing for election this year and he will step down from the Board following the AGM on 9 July 2013. Steve will continue to work in the business as Creative Director until 28 February 2014. Steve has built up extensive marketing experience over a career that began when he joined Bejam as a Marketing Manager in 1978. He progressed to the Argyll Group and moved to ASDA in 1987, where he became Marketing Director. Steve’s other senior marketing roles have included the Burton Group, Booker plc and Arcadia Group plc. He joined M&S in 2004.
    Other roles
    Non-executive director of Adnams plc, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, The Marketing Society and The Royal Society of Arts and a Visiting Professor of Glasgow Caledonian University.
  • Jeremy Darroch

    Jeremy Darroch

    Non-executive director

    Independent
    Yes
    Appointed
    2006, Jeremy will step down from the board on 19 June 2013.
    Experience
    Jeremy has considerable expertise in the consumer retail environment built up over a successful career at some of the UK’s most high profile organisations. A qualified Chartered Accountant, Jeremy spent 12 years in a range of roles at Proctor and Gamble, including European Finance Director for their Healthcare division. He was Group Finance Director and Retail Director at Dixons Retail before his move to British Sky Broadcasting in 2004, where he was appointed Chief Financial Officer, later becoming CEO in 2007. Jeremy will step down from the Board of M&S on 19 June 2013.
    Other roles
    CEO of British Sky Broadcasting.
    Committees
    Audit (Chairman), Nomination
  • Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne

    Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne

    Executive Director, Marketing and Business Development

    Appointed
    Following the AGM on 9 July 2013
    Experience
    Patrick joined M&S in September 2012 as Director of Strategy implementation and Business Development and has played a key role in creating the new marketing strategy for Womenswear. Patrick’s extensive experience of the consumer goods industry was built up over a career spanning more than 25 years, with 15 years spent in senior global brand management positions in London, Paris and New York. He joined Estée Lauder in 1989 as Vice President and General Manager of Aramis International and was appointed to Lauder’s executive committee in 1998. Patrick became Group President of the Estée Lauder Companies in 2001, stepping down in 2008 to pursue opportunities in the internet and new technology fields.
    Other roles
    Non-executive director of Brown-Forman Inc
  • Amanda Mellor

    Amanda Mellor

    Group Secretary and Head of Corporate Governance

    Appointed
    July 2009
    Other roles
    Non-executive director of Kier Group plc