Marks and Spencer Announces Departure of Chairman

LONDON - British retailer Marks and Spencer has announced that its chairman, Luc Vandevelde, will be leaving the company because of his commitments to Carrefour, according to British press reports.

Vandevelde, who joined Marks and Spencer four years ago, represents the Halley family on the board of Carrefour. The family is said to control 11.5 percent of the French supermarket group.

Reports say that Vandevelde had been criticized for spending too much time on his other business interests, which apart from his role at Carrefour, include a directorship at British mobile telephone giant Vodafone.

Marks and Spencer recently disappointed investors by announcing like-for-like sales had fallen by 3.4 percent in the fourth quarter from the same period of the previous year.

Weekend reports suggested that Marks and Spencer wants to announce Vandevelde's successor at its annual shareholder meeting on July 14.
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