Sir Stuart will take up his new role on 1 June when current chairman Lord Burns retires. He has also committed to stay at M&S until July 2011 when he will retire.
“It is my view and the unanimous view of the independent directors, that placing Stuart in this new role creates the right leadership structure for the company,” said Lord Burns.
“Stuart has the unique skills to continue the challenge of making M&S a world class retailer, and to develop the future leaders of the business,” he added.
Also as part of the shake up, Steven Esom has been appointed to the board of directors and will continue to be responsible
Kate Bostock also joins the board with responsibility for all clothing, while Ian Dyson will become group finance and operations director, taking on responsibility for retail and HR, alongside his current responsibilities of finance, IT, logistics, property and store development.
Guy Farrant steps down as director of retail after a 30-year career at M&S.