Former Citigroup banker Robert Swannell will replace Sir Stuart Rose as chairman of Marks & Spencer.
Swannell will join the retailer on 4 October as a non-executive director and will become chairman on 4 January 2011, when Sir Stuart steps down.
Swannell advised M&S on its defence against Philip Green’s hostile takeover approach in 2004. He will reportedly earn around £500,000 a year from his new post.
Swannell is also chairman of HMV and holds non-exec directorships with British Land and private equity group 3i.
"It is a privilege to be asked to chair one of the world's greatest brands,” he said. “I look forward to joining the M&S team and working with my new colleagues on the board."
Chief executive Marc Bolland added: "Robert will be an excellent chairman for us. He has strong complementary skills and I am very much looking forward to working with him."
Meanwhile, M&S is reportedly on the lookout for a multi-channel division director and an international director to focus on its online and global businesses.
Bolland: ‘Heritage’ key for M&S success (15 July 2010)
Rose defiant ahead of crunch AGM (14 July 2010)
Carr: No interest in M&S chairman role (24 May 2010)