Britain's M&S Co-CEO Bickerstaffe To Leave This Year

By Reuters
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Britain's M&S Co-CEO Bickerstaffe To Leave This Year

British retailer Marks & Spencer said co-chief executive Katie Bickerstaffe would leave the group this year to pursue a portfolio career on other company boards.

Bickerstaffe has held the position since 2022, reporting into CEO Stuart Machin and playing a key role in the clothing and food group's recent revival.

Planned Exit

She will step down after M&S's annual shareholder meeting in July. Her planned exit was first reported by Sky News on Wednesday (6 March).

"Having helped see through that (2022) leadership change, the strengthening of the management team and a marked improvement in the performance of the business, she will move on to take other board roles in line with the original transition plan," M&S said in a statement.

Bickerstaffe's focus has been on data, digital and technology. In January, M&S said Rachel Higham would be joining from advertising group WPP to take over this function.


M&S said Bickerstaffe had been clear that once this transition was complete, she would develop her board career alongside the non-executive director positions she holds at housebuilder Barratt Developments and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Turnaround Plan

After more than a decade of failed turnaround efforts, M&S is finally reaping the rewards of an expensive investment programme to improve the quality and value of its clothing and food, upgrade its technology and e-commerce operations, and radically overhaul its store estate.

According to AJ Bell, 'Marks & Spencer has a history of revolving doors with its senior management team, but the difference now is that the business seems to have found its groove and the turnaround story is gaining traction. It doesn’t appear to be a case of someone senior leaving because the strategy isn’t working.

'Machin is the architect behind the retailer’s recent success and the fact he remains in the top job will be of comfort to shareholders and the market.'


In January, the group reported better-than-expected Christmas trading in both clothing and food and the most recent industry data showed M&S was Britain's second fastest growing food retailer.

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM.

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