Marks & Spencer’s investor and analyst day - its first for nearly a decade - is expected to offer some clues to the race to succeed Sir Stuart Rose as chief executive, with divisional heads including clothing chief Kate Bostock set to make presentations.
M&S is expected to offer hints on potential successors to executive chairman Rose at the day tomorrow, according to the Financial Mail on Sunday.
Rose has said that he will step down as chief executive next year.
Bostock and the two other internal candidates for the role, which include food boss John Dixon and finance director Ian Dyson, will make presentations on the progress of M&S’ 20/20 strategy, which is focused on distribution, warehousing and IT integration.
“It’s an opportunity to weigh up the runners and riders”
Pali analyst Nick Bubb
But the real attention will be on how M&S intends to drive online sales growth in the face of sharp competition and whether it will be ramping up its overseas operations.
A spokesman for M&S confirmed the high street retailer would be discussing e-commerce and international retailing, as well as operating efficiencies and systems with the 80 guests.
Analysts said that the day will also offer some clarity in the succession race.
“It’s an opportunity to weigh up the runners and riders,” said Pali analyst Nick Bubb.
Investec analyst Katharine Wynne said: “The ability to get their message across is quite an important job (for a chief executive). But we know investors’ preference is for an external candidate.”
External candidates understood to be in the running include Morrisons chief executive Marc Bolland, Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King and Asda chief executive Andy Bond.