M&S's Rose to become chairman and stay until 2011

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The Independent Online

Marks and Spencer boss Stuart Rose has pledged to stay with the British stores group for an extra two years as part of a management reorganisation which also strengthens finance chief Ian Dyson's position as number two.

Britain's biggest clothing retailer said today that Chairman Terry Burns would stand down on 1 June, and Rose would then move from chief executive to executive chairman.

It said Rose, who has staged one of British retail's most notable turnarounds since he joined M&S in 2004, would stay with the company until July 2011. Rose had previously committed to stay until 2009.

"There was no obvious successor," said Pali International analyst Nick Bubb. "And this allows Stuart to work through the current downturn - I don't suppose he'd want to leave on a low note - and make sure oversees growth is well underway."

M&S said Ian Dyson, currently finance director, would take on additional responsibilities, including managing the group's store network.

But a spokeswoman declined to comment on whether he was being lined up as Rose's eventual successor.

Pali's Bubb said there were other candidates.

M&S also said Kate Bostock was assuming responsibility for all the group's clothing operations, excluding its per una range with designer George Davies, and would be promoted to the board of directors.

Steven Esom, head of food, will also join the board, while the former chief executive of hotels group Hilton, David Michels, is joining the company as deputy chairman.

Rose helped M&S fend off a bid approach from retail tycoon Philip Green in 2004 and then oversaw a doubling in its share price as it recaptured ground lost to rivals such as Next. However, the stock plunged in January after M&S reported a fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas.