Marks and Spencer’s chief executive and chairman Sir Stuart Rose will give up his executive role in July and take a 25 per cent pay cut, the company has announced. Sir Stuart will then give up his position as chairman in March 2011 – earlier than initially planned.

Marc Bolland – formerly boss of Morrisons – is due to take up the M&S chief executive role in May. Sir Stuart will retain executive responsibilities until July to ensure a smooth handover. He has previously been criticised by shareholders unhappy with his dual role at M&S.

Listed companies traditionally have a separate chief executive and chairman to ensure good corporate governance. Earlier this month, Sir Stuart told the BBC he expected to take a pay cut as a result of stepping down from the chief executive role.

He is currently paid a £1.13m salary.

M&S is now expected to step up its hunt for a replacement chairman.

The current deputy chairman, David Michels, has already ruled himself out, while Alan Parker, the chief executive of the Whitbread leisure group, has been linked with the post.