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New upheaval for retailer

M&S executive takes maternity leave at 50

Marks & Spencer executive Laura Wade-Gery is to take maternity leave at the age of 50, it has been announced.

The £1 million a year director, responsible for the chain’s multi-channel business, will take four months off from September.

Ms Wade-Gery joined M&S from Tesco in 2011 and was first tasked with the £150m overhaul of the M&S website.

Her leave was announced to the stock exchange in London under rules which say investors much be informed if directors are to be absent for more than three weeks.

Ms Wade-Gery’s absence means more turmoil at the top for M&S after Frances Russell, who headed the womenswear division was ousted from the company three weeks after Steve Rowe took over the group’s general merchandise division.

He and Ms Wade-Gery are considered the two most likely internal candidates to succeed chief executive Marc Bolland.

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