Well well well.... it's an external candidate for new chief executive after all that. Funny that, as one of the reasons given for Rose combining chair and chief exec roles was that by doing so he could delegate some of his executive functions to the internal candidates to prove themselves. It sounded like cobblers at the time and either it was just guff, or it didn't work.
Notably whilst we have a date for Bolland to start (Feb), we don't have a date for Rose to leave. At a push he could stay till July 2011 remember, so it's by no means an ideal situation. Chief exec going on to become chair and all that. And M&S hasn't started the process of recruiting a chair by the sounds of it.
It is pretty clear that the company never had any intention of appointing the chair first, though some investors felt this was still achievable for some reason at the time of the AGM. Now the focus has to be on getting an independent chair in place. Whilst I'm sure Bolland can stand his ground it's not an ideal situation to have his immediate predecessor as chair.