If I hadn't seen the drop-dead gorgeous dresses in their A/W collection - many with the kind of sleeves most grown-up women crave - I might be less excited by her announcement. But Ms Earl, 51, brings back to M&S that intangible something - call it class, call it good taste, call it style - which has been so sorely lacking in the past decade.
When we launched our eco and ethical programme, Plan A, in 2007 we made some big bold product related commitments. For example, to get all our wood and fish from the most sustainable source possible. It wasn't the wrong thing to do but we were looking through the lens of 'issue' rather than 'product'.
In the current climate, 'going green' might not be at the top of most company 'to do' lists. Times are tough and there are numerous economic headwinds keeping us busy. So, am I wasting my time writing a blog post calling on companies to build sustainability into their business plans? Definitely not and here's why. In 2007 we set aside a massive £200 million for a five year project called Plan A (because there is no Plan B for the one planet we have), a sustainability programme that pledged to transform M&S by changing the way it did business.