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M&S boardroom tensions rise as deputy chairman eyes top job

Marks & Spencer deputy chairman Sir David Michels has told investors he wants to become chairman of the retailer.

a move which could spur Sir Stuart Rose to leave before his planned retirement by July 2011, according to The Financial Times

A report in The Financial Times said that the move had heightened boardroom tensions at M&S and that it could force current chairman Sir Stuart Rose to leave before his July 2011 planned retirement date. However the newspaper said that Rose had no plans to leave before that date contrary to recent reprts.

Rose is also believed to have made it clear to investors that he would not favour Michels succeeding him as chairman.

M&S has been under pressure from investors over its decision to allow Rose to hold both the chairman and chief executive roles, which goes against good corporate governance, as well as the lack of progress in finding a successor for Rose.

Michels has been charged with leading the search for Rose’s replacement at M&S which is understood to kick off in earnest after the summer.

Shareholder advisory body RiskMetrics is urging M&S investors to support a resolution field by the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, to force the retailer to separate its chairman and chief executive roles.

M&S is expected to get a rough ride from some investors at its annual general meeting next month.




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