A Croydon businessman who began his career as a Saturday boy at his local Marks and Spencer store has been appointed the company's chief executive 33 years later.

Steve Rowe, currently the retail company's executive director of general merchandise, will replace outgoing boss Marc Bolland in April.

Mr Rowe, 48, was previously the head of the company's successful food division and has served on its board since 2012.

He landed his first job as a 15-year-old working Saturdays in the men’s knitwear department of the Croydon M&S store.

He departed for Topshop when he was 18 but returned to M&S four years later to begin his rise through the company ranks. 

He followed in the footsteps of his father, who was an M&S director until 2000, according to the Guardian.

Today Mr Rowe said: "It is a great privilege to be appointed chief executive of Marks and Spencer and to have the opportunity to lead this unique company and all its people forward."

The role of chief executive at one of Britain's biggest retail companies is a handsomely paid gig: Mr Rowe's new job will earn him £810,000 a year.

Mr Bolland announced his retirement this week after six years in the role, amid speculation that poor Christmas sales figures precipitated his departure.

However, M&S chairman Robert Swannell insisted today there had been no pressure on Bolland to go.

The shopfloor-to-boardroom rise of Mr Rowe, who reportedly lives in Purley, will be seen by many as a great Croydon success story. 

But there is one thing about the new M&S chief executive that might take off some of the shine - he is allegedly a Millwall fan.