Stuart Rose, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, has reshuffled his top team, sparking speculation that he is grooming a successor and signalling his global ambitions. Daily Telegraph.

Carl Leaver, former chief executive of hotel group De Vere, is to join M&S as director of international business. He previously worked for leisure group Whitbread.

Rose has made no secret of his desire to expand overseas, although he stressed last year that M&S would remain “UK-centric for the moment’’.

M&S has 219 franchise stores in 30 countries, but directly owns just eight international stores, all in Hong Kong. This year, it signed a joint venture agreement to open stores in Taiwan.

Rose said of Leaver: 'He can’t tell me whether a blue frock will sell better than a yellow frock in Bombay – but he can tell me whether I should be in Bombay in the first place.'