Burns will take up the role of deputy chairman with effect from October 1, 2005 and will become chairman at the company’s annual general meeting, in July 2006.
He is chairman of Abbey National and Glas Cymru (Welsh Water), and is a non-executive director of Banco Santander Central Hispano, Pearson Group and British Land.
Marks & Spencer current chairman, Paul Myners will step down from the board at the annual meeting in 2006.
Terry Burns said: “Marks & Spencer is a company with a great brand and a strong heritage. I am very pleased to be joining the board at this important time.”