Yesterday (18 November) brought the much-anticipated announcement of who would replace Marks and Spencer (M&S) boss Sir Stuart Rose, with Marc Bolland to become the retailer’s new CEO.
He told investors during a conference call that his best moment at M&S was being appointed CEO, while his worst was facing opposition to his combined executive roles at the firm.
just-food takes a look back at Sir Stuart Rose’ tenure at the UK upmarket retailer.
June 2004 – Sir Stuart is named as the new chief executive of M&S, joining from fashion retailer Arcadia Group.
July 2004 – Retail entrepreneur Sir Philip Green drops a GBP9.1bn takeover bid for M&S, after failing to agree a deal with the company’s board.
May 2005 – M&S reveals a 19% plummet in underlying full-year profit to GBP618.5m and warns of a ‘challenging’ outlook.
October 2005 – Charles Wilson, who joined M&S to support Sir Stuart’s mission to turn around the company’s flagging fortunes, leaves the company.
May 2006 – Recovery under the guidance of Stuart Rose gains momentum with a 35% jump in full-year profits to GBP751.4m.
January 2007 – Sir Stuart inks business-wide ‘eco-plan’, called Plan A. The five-year plan to cost GBP200m (US$393.29m) to implement, incorporating climate change, waste, sustainable raw materials, and fair partner and health.
April 2007 – Marks and Spencer names ex-Waitrose managing director Steven Esom as director of food.
June 2008 – Sir Stuart takes up additional role of executive chairman at the company, prompting opposition by institutional shareholders concerned over corporate governance guidelines.
May 2008 – Marks and Spencer, renowned for its own-label food, announces plans to begin selling some of the country’s biggest brands, including Marmite and Heinz tomato ketchup.
May 2008 – Moving away from a geographical structure of five regional directors, the retailer appoints two executives to oversee its food and general merchandise stores. Neil Hyslop takes up the management of the company’s Simply Food stores, while former head of retail operations Steve Finlan takes charge of all other stores.
May 2008 – M&S breaks through the GBP1bn profit barrier for the first time in more than a decade, but also warns of tough times ahead.
July 2008 – M&S director of food, Steven Esom announces his departure as the retailer records a 4.5% slip in food sales in the 13 weeks to 28 June. John Dixon, director of M&S home furnishings and M&S Direct is appointed as Esom’s replacement.
January 2009 – With recession looming, Sir Stuart announces that M&S will close 27 stores and axe over 1,200 jobs as it seeks to cut costs after UK like-for-like sales fell 7.1% over the Christmas trading period.
September 2009 – The retailer claims that sales in the company’s food division have become “positive” for the first time in eight quarters. Group revenue grew 2.7%, driven by online sales.
November 2009 – Marks and Spencer begins selling 400 branded grocery and household products across its UK stores following a 16-month trial in stores in North East and South East of England.
July 2009 – Shareholders vote to keep Sir Stuart running as its chairman until July 2011.
Today (18 November) – Announcement made that the boss of supermarket rival Morrisons, Marc Bolland, will replace Sir Stuart as CEO when he steps down next year.