Dutchman Marc Bolland is stepping down from the helm of British store group Marks & Spencer after six years in the job.
Bolland’s resignation comes after disappointing Christmas non-food sales but he was under no pressure to quit, the Daily Mail quotes group chairman Robert Swannell as saying.
Bolland, who is 56, came under pressure from investor Standard Life last year which questioned his performance after the 14th consecutive quarterly decline in sales figures, the paper says.
Bolland said it had been ‘a huge honour to lead one of Britain’s most iconic companies’ and is ready for the ‘next stage’ in his life. He did not reveal his future plans but said he will continue on the board of Coca-Cola and as vice-president of children’s charity Unicef, the Daily Mail says.
‘From the outset I made it clear this was about a five or six-year journey, which is healthy for any chief executive in business,’ the Dutchman said.
His replacement is Steve Rowe, currently the executive director of general merchandise at the company.
Marks & Spencer recently closed down its Dutch food outlets at a number of BP petrol stations because of poor sales.
The company, which has a large store in The Hague and a mini outlet in Amsterdam, is due to open a major flagship store in the Dutch capital at the end of this year.
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