Why is Stuart Rose staying at M&S until 2011?

Sir Stuart Rose himself said: "M&S is a business with a strong heritage and great potential. This is an important time in its development. In taking the role of executive chairman, my task will be to guide the business through the next stage of growth."

Speaking to the BBC, top retail analyst Nick Bubb said: "There was no obvious successor. This allows Stuart to work through the current downturn – I don’t suppose he’d want to leave on a low note."

The Times reported dissatisfaction among institutions that Rose was combining the chairman and chief executive roles. Mark Burgess, head of equities at Legal & General, said: "As set out in the Combined Code we believe strongly in the separation of the roles of chairman and chief executive, believing this prevents a much needed balance in the boardroom and prevents the potentially damaging concentration of power.

"As such we believe today’s announcement from M&S is unwelcome.

You can find out the full story from Sir Stuart himself at the Legendary Dinner on April 2, when he will be one of the star guests. For the last few tickets, email Joanna Cox on jc1@caspianpublishing.co.uk . For full details, click here.

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