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Did Stuart Rose get it wrong at M&S?


ms.jpgJust a year ago, Stuart Rose’s stock was riding high as the man who turned round Marks and Spencer but now he faces shareholder anger over controversial management changes, a big profit warning and a proposal to make him executive chairman as well as chief executive.

M&S shares lost 33 percent of their value last week after the warning.

Rose upset some analysts last week by announcing that head of food Steven Esom, who had been tipped as a potential successor, was leaving after only about a year in the job, following a sharply weaker performance at the food business.

Critics have accused the all-important M&S food section of failing to sniff the recessionary wind and keeping prices too high. It showed Rose was losing his sure touch, some said.

Others believe his refusal to trim his sails and cut the dividend to shareholders is another mistake.