British retailer Marks & Spencer Group has appointed its head of food division, John Dixon, to its executive board, in a move that strengthened his chance of succeeding Sir Stuart Rose as chief executive next year.
Sir Stuart Rose has been facing criticism since he combined the roles of chief executive and chairman against corporate governance guidelines.
Greg Lawless, an analyst, commented about Mr. Dixon, "He has been put in the running for the top job if it is an internal candidate."
M&S has always said that it would prefer an internal candidate to succeed Mr. Rose. But, John Dixon will face competition from finance director Ian Dyson and head of clothing Kate Bostok.
M&S also named Steven Holliday as the new chairman of its remuneration committee. Steven Holliday will succeed Louise Patten who would remain a member of the committee.
Mr. Dixon has been serving M&S since 1986, when he joined the retailer as a store management trainee.