M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose sets departure date as he takes a pay cut

City A.M. Reporter
Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose is to give up his executive duties and take a 25 per cent pay cut in July with a view to stepping down by March 2011, the company announced yesterday.

Under fire since taking on the dual roles of chief executive and chairman two years ago, Rose had said earlier this month he was likely to leave ahead of his previously stated last possible departure date of July 2011, although not this year.

Analysts said the new chairman was likely to be an external candidate after deputy chairman David Michels ruled himself out earlier this month and M&S . Alan Parker, who is retiring as chief executive of leisure group Whitbread in November, told Sky News earlier this month he was “flattered” to be linked to the post.

One analyst also suggested Phil Wrigley, former chief executive and then chairman of fashion chain New Look, who would be able to offer advice on clothing to new chief executive Marc Bolland, whose background is in marketing and groceries.

The pressure on Rose over his dual roles eased last year when Marks & Spencer (M&S), which is Britain’s biggest clothing retailer and also sells food and homewares, announced the recruitment of Bolland from Wm Morrison Supermarkets but some investors felt Rose should take a pay cut after Bolland starts as chief executive on 1 May.