Marks and Spencer Group plc has announced the appointment of Justin King as a non-executive director with effect from 1st January 2019.

King is acknowledged as one of the UK’s most successful retail leaders, having led the revival of J Sainsbury’s as chief executive over ten years.

Prior to that, he was one of the pioneers of the development of Simply Food at M&S and previously one of the leadership team responsible for the turnaround of Asda.

Marks & Spencer believes King will bring in-depth experience of retail transformation and operations, as well as a good historic understanding of the M&S business and values.

King’s appointment is the fourth new hire in the last year for M&S, and he will join M&S’s Nomination Committee on appointment.

Steve Rowe, M&S chief executive, commented: “I am delighted that Justin has agreed to join us. As we navigate the challenges ahead it will be enormously helpful to have his experience, wisdom and insight on the Board. Many colleagues remember his time at M&S and will warmly welcome him back.”

Archie Norman, M&S chairman, added: “Justin’s appointment completes a very significant reorientation of the board in the last year. He will be a great addition to a strong team.”

Commenting on his appointment, King said: “Having worked there 15 years ago, M&S has a very special place in my affections. I look forward to joining the Board and supporting Steve in the turnaround that he is leading.”

King will continue to serve as vice chairman of Terra Firma and remains on the Public Interest Body of PwC.