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Rowe to exit M&S with jump in profit, but much still to do

Steve Rowe will next week step down as chief executive of British retailer Marks & Spencer after a turbulent six years in the top job, with his internal successor set for a baptism of fire amid a worsening cost-of-living crisis. Rowe, who joined M&S at the age of 15 before rising through the ranks, will end a 39-year career at the clothing and food group after presenting annual results on Wednesday that are expected to show a jump in profit. Along with chairman Archie Norman, Rowe has sought to transform the 138-year old M&S with a radical overhaul of its store estate, a renewed focus on the quality and value of its clothing and food, and heavy investment in technology and e-commerce, including a joint venture with Ocado that belatedly took M&S food online.

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