A senior retail analyst said he expected a decision in the next two weeks, with speculation surrounding whether or not acting director of food Guy Farrant will get the nod.
The analyst said word in the City was that the role would go to a senior director from a leading grocery retailer who might see it as a stepping stone to a top industry job.
Speculation is also rife about M&S’s next chairman. Paul Myners stepped in as interim chairman last May to help fight off the approach of Philip Green, but it was not expected to be on a long-term basis.
Pressure is mounting from shareholders for a permanent appointment to be made in time for July’s annual meeting. While some apparently want Myners to stay on, external candidates being touted include former Asda boss Archie Norman.
In another development, M&S has agreed a deal with Amazon to run its online operations.