M&S chairman steps down after six years
Tuesday 04 January 2011
Sir Stuart Rose ends a colourful six-year tenure with high street giant Marks & Spencer today as he steps down as chairman.
The 61-year-old has had an eventful leadership, attracting both praise and criticism since he joined the retailer in 2004.
Sir Stuart was revered for steering the firm to profits of £1 billion in 2008, but was vilified for taking on the dual role of chairman and chief executive, and over excessive boardroom pay.
Former City banker Robert Swannell, who was a lead adviser to M&S in the defence against retail tycoon Sir Philip Green's takeover bid in 2004, replaces Sir Stuart as chairman, while former Morrisons boss Marc Bolland continues as chief executive, after joining the firm in May.
Sir Stuart will take on an advisory role at private equity firm Bridgepoint after his departure.
Sir Stuart brought in key talent to drive a revival of M&S clothing ranges after taking up the helm and commissioned advertising campaigns, featuring the likes of supermodels Twiggy, Erin O'Connor and singer Myleene Klass.
But his role, combining chairman and chief executive, raised the ire of many investors as it breached corporate best practice.
M&S' rocky ride under his leadership can be tracked by its share price - which lifted from the 277p he inherited in 2004 to 759p in 2007 before crashing to 194p in 2008. Shares have climbed back and closed at 369p on Friday.
Sir Stuart's own M&S journey started in 1972 when he began his retail career as a management trainee.
Following his "apprenticeship" at M&S he worked with a number of high-profile retailers including the Burton Group, Debenhams and Dorothy Perkins.
But it was when he joined Arcadia as chief executive in November 2000 that he cemented his reputation as a major player by turning around the company which was lumbered with more than £250 million debt when he joined.
Sir Stuart presided over the sale of Arcadia to Sir Philip Green for £855 million in 2002, making £25 million out of the deal himself.
His replacement, Mr Swannell, is former vice-chairman of US bank Citigroup's European operations.
His career has seen him work on a long line of tough corporate battles, including spirits producer Pernod Ricard's acquisition of Irish Distillers and acting for P&O Princess when it was taken over by Carnival. He also helped Roman Abramovich buy Chelsea FC.
Mr Swannell takes up the helm at an uncertain time for retailers.
Today's VAT rise, forthcoming public sector spending cuts, recent poor weather and rising commodity prices have all rocked confidence in the sector's outlook.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 4 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...