Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Rose gets M&S shareholder backing despite investor protest

Marks & Spencer chairman and chief executive Sir Stuart Rose was re-elected to the board by shareholders at the company’s AGM.

However, more than 20% of the investor base either abstained or voted against his re-election in a show of protest against his promotion to executive chairman.

Despite talk of a shareholder revolt prior to the meeting, the event passed without the grilling that had been predicted following his appointment in the dual executive role at the business.

Non-executive deputy chairman Sir David Michels said it was in the best interests to retain Rose in a leadership role, and that the decision about the appointment was unanimous with the board.

“He is the leading architect of the group’s turnaround and has the right set of skills to complete the job he started. In uncertain economic times, continuity becomes more important,” said Michels.

However, Rose was forced to defend a 60% drop in the retailer’s share price at the company’s AGM in London today.

Rose acknowledged that the shares, which were at 234p, had dropped considerably since the beginning of the year. But he said the fall was part of a loss of confidence in the retail sector as a whole.

“The share price at Next and Debenhams has dropped a similar amount,” said Rose. “There’s little appetite for customer-facing stocks at the moment and that includes retail.”

The M&S boss also fielded criticism of the clothing ranges from concerned shareholders who said that the fashionability and sizing was out of kilter with its core customer base.

Rose said that clothing market share was increasing and that returns of womenswear product were at their lowest since 1999.

Rose added that the company was in a strong position to ride out the economic downturn, pointing to its increase in market share in clothing, its investment in stores and international expansion.

Readers' comments (2)

  • another classic example of the media blowing things out of proportion and making a situation out of nothing. Mr Rose has done an excellent job at M&S and its only the journalists who love to create a drama that make out the shareholders wanted Rose out. They dont! M&S, like all good retailers in the Uk just now, will ride out the storm the media has brewed in the industry at the moment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Work is well under way on the new store in Nanjing West Rd in Shanghai so maybe that will help the bottom line

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.