Marks & Spencer has handed responsibility for its internet business and homewares business to its head of international Carl Leaver, fuelling speculation he could be the front runner to succeed Sir Stuart Rose as chief executive.
According to The Times newspaper, Leaver was handed to additional responsibilities because he had become increasingly frustrated in his international role at M&S.
His broader role will give him opportunity to develop more retail experience, something analysts say internal candidates for the chief executive role at M&S are lacking. Leaver's background is mainly in the leisure sector. He joined M&S from the De Vere hotels group last year.
The internet and homeware business are understood to have sales of around £1 billion combined.
Separately, George Davies' daughter is to step down from her design role at M&S's Per Una business. Emmy Trayner will leave Per Una, where she has been working as a design consultant alongside her father and founder of the brand, next week.
Trayner and her sister Melanie Davies were appointed directors of the brand two years ago. Since then Trayner has been scaling back her role.
M&S intends to fill her role internally