Blog: Dean BestRose prepares to take his bow at M&S

Dean Best | 26 May 2010

Marks and Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose professes not to like the word 'legacy'.

However, yesterday (25 May), as he reported the UK retailer's annual results, he presented a defence of his tenure.

Rose, who is set to step down as M&S chairman by March, has had something of a rollercoaster six years at the helm of the business but, as he prepares to leave the stage, he told the City media that his time at the top had been a success.

In his usual machine-gun style, Rose launched a rat-a-tat-tat list of how M&S has progressed since 2004, including gains in clothing, more modern stores and the start of a revamp of its systems and supply chain.

"I don't tend to look back. I'm a glass-half-full, look-forward kind of guy. I feel the business is in a better position than when I inherited it," Rose said.

However, M&S, and new chief executive Marc Bolland has a job on its hands on deciding the direction of the retailer's food business, which suffered during the downturn.

M&S invested heavily in promotions to lure back consumers but food remains a long-term challenge for the retailer - and opinion is divided on how it should progress.

Bolland, part-way through an "induction" period at the company has so far kept his cards close to his chest. He is set to report on his findings this autumn. He will no doubt have plenty to chew over.


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