Marks & Spencer is reported to be close to appointing a headhunter to lead the search for a chief executive, to replace Sir Stuart Rose when his dual role is split next year.
Jan Hall, of headhunter JCA, who has done work for M&S in the past, is thought to be a front runner among the headhunting firms vying for the search, according to The Financial Times.
M&S is seeking to appoint a chief executive by next summer and is thought to be considering international and external candidates. The newspaper said that the search had been complicated by the face Rose will stay on in the role of chairman until 2011.
M&S’s director of food John Dixon, its finance director Ian Dyson, Asda chief executive Andy Bond and Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King have all been linked to the M&S chief executive role.
It is also thought M&S may be looking at a broader range of retail bosses, including HMV chief executive Simon Fox, who was last month in the running for the role of chief executive of broadcaster ITV, before he ruled himself out.