Ocado have announced the appointment of Sir Stuart Rose as chairman this week, his first major role since stepping down from Marks & Spencer at the end of 2010.
The appointment sees Rose succeed broadcasting industry executive Michael Grade, chairman for six years, when he retires after the firm’s AGM on 10 May. Rose, who has 41 years experience in the retail sector, was CEO at M&S from 2004-2008.
His move to an executive chairman role at M&S in 2008, a post he held for three years, was controversial as it contravened best corporate governance guidelines which frown on a CEO moving to an executive chairman position.
Rose’s appointment is seen by many to be a coup for online retailer Ocado, who have yet to record an annual profit since launching in 2000. The company is however highly praised for its customer service, and confidence is high following the news of Rose’s arrival. The chain is currently facing increased competition from large companies such as Tesco and Sainsburys, who want a slice of the online grocery market, and it is believed that Rose’s appointment will bolster their position.
Shares in Ocado, up 40% over the last three months, closed Monday 6th January at 95p, valuing the business at £550m*.
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*Figures obtained from http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jan/22/ocado-stuart-rose-chairman?CMP=twt_gu
Image adapted from a photo by EG Focus