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Marks & Spencer plans letter to appease shareholders

Marks & Spencer is preparing to write a formal letter to its shareholders this week to explain its decision to promote Sir Stuart Rose to the controversial role of joint chairman and chief executive.

According to the Financial Times today, the letter will provide a full explanation of why M&S decided to merge the chief executive and chairman roles, a decision that some shareholders have complained breaks with good corporate governance standards.

The UK's combined code for corporate governance says that no executive should have unfettered power and that companies must either comply with the code or explain any move away from it.

Despite M&S's claims that shareholders are generally supportive of the move, at least seven of M&S's biggest shareholders have now voiced their concern, including Schroders and Legal & General who have publicly denounced the appointment.

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