Mar 20, 2010
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M&S chairman Rose sets departure date, takes pay cut

Mar 20, 2010

By Mark Potter

LONDON, March 18 (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer's (MKS.L) chairman Sir Stuart Rose is to give up his executive duties and take a 25 percent pay cut in July with a view to stepping down by March 2011, the company announced on Thursday 18 March.

Under fire since taking on the dual roles of chief executive and chairman two years ago, Rose had said earlier this month he was likely to leave ahead of his previously stated last possible departure date of July 2011, although not this year.

Analysts said the new chairman was likely to be an external candidate after deputy chairman David Michels ruled himself out earlier this month and M&S .

Alan Parker, who is retiring as chief executive of leisure group Whitbread (WTB.L) in November, told Sky News earlier this month he was "flattered" to be linked to the post.

One analyst also suggested Phil Wrigley, former chief executive and then chairman of fashion chain New Look, who would be able to offer advice on clothing to new chief executive Marc Bolland, whose background is in marketing and groceries.

The pressure on Rose over his dual roles eased last year when Marks & Spencer (M&S), which is Britain's biggest clothing retailer and also sells food and homewares, announced the recruitment of Bolland from Wm Morrison Supermarkets (MRW.L) but some investors felt Rose should take a pay cut after Bolland starts as chief executive on May 1.

M&S said on Thursday 18 March Rose would stay as executive chairman until July 31 to ensure a smooth transition and that he would then take a 25 percent cut in salary to 875,000 pounds.

The firm said it had appointed headhunters JCA to find a new chairman, adding that Rose would stand down by March 2011.

At 1500 GMT, M&S shares were up 0.8 percent at 356.6 pence, valuing the business at about 5.7 billion pounds. (Editing by James Davey, Greg Mahlich)

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