Marks & Spencer's Chairman Steps Down... No Barneys Return for Gene Pressman...

The departure of Sir Stuart Rose marks the end of a dramatic era at Marks & Spencer, the U.K.’s largest clothing retailer.

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A FAREWELL TO ROSE: This week marks the end of a dramatic era at Marks & Spencer, the U.K.’s largest clothing retailer, as Sir Stuart Rose stepped down as chairman. In 2004, Rose was drafted into the role of chief executive officer — abruptly — as the store fought a takeover bid by Sir Philip Green. In 2008, Rose took on the additional role of chairman. M&S prospered under Rose, who brought a degree of glamour to the brand, drafting big names such as Twiggy and Erin O’Connor to appear in ad campaigns, and boosting sales and profits. A smooth and press-savvy retail veteran, Rose started his career at M&S in the Seventies and worked 10 years in store’s food division. During the Nineties, he was instrumental in building up the Burton Group, which later became the Arcadia Group after a demerger in 1998 and today is owned by Green. Going forward, Rose will take on an advisory role at the private equity firm Bridgepoint. He will be succeeded at M&S by John Swannell, a former vice chairman of Citigroup’s European operations who had helped fend off Green’s takeover bid back in 2004. Last spring, Marc Bolland succeeded Rose as ceo.

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